Rowling On Public Ire Over Black Hermione: Idiots Were Going To Idiot

By R. Siva Kumar - 07 Jun '16 13:58PM

Hermione Granger, the much vilified "mud blood" in the Harry Potter books has to face a new set of prejudices from the Muggle world.

Black actress Noma Dumezweni was cast as Hermione in the two-part play "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." The play starts its previews Tuesday, but the Black actress has stirred some concerns and worry in the public.

J.K. Rowling is not surprised about the anti-Dumezweni comments. "With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to an idiot," Rowling told The Guardian Sunday. "That's the way the world is."

Rowling supports the Black actress. "Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job," she said. "When [director] John [Tiffany] told me he'd cast her, I said, 'Oh, that's fabulous' because I'd seen her in a workshop and she was fabulous."

Rowling is clear that the books never mentioned Hermione's skin color. However, readers have been examining the books with a fine-toothed comb for some signs of her color.

"I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione 'turned white' -- that is, lost color from her face after a shock -- that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with," Rowling said. "But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm."

Earlier, when she disclosed that Hogwarts' headmaster Albus Dumbledore was gay, Rowling faced some flak. But she clarifies: "if Harry Potter taught us anything, it's that no one should live in a closet."

"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," begins previews at London's Palace Theatre on Tuesday. The official opening is on July 30. The play is expected to rouse some worry and tears, and Rowling has warned her fans not to expect a happy cast.

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