The LOTR: Rings Of Power Cast & OG Film Actors Have Called Out Racist Backlash From Fkd Fans

The stars of Amazon’s Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power have hit back at the racist backlash to the show’s diverse casting. Because apparently, a fantasy show including more than just white people is a “betrayal” of the source material.

The entire cast released a statement condemning the racism and harassment on social media.

“We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment and abuse some of our castmates of colour are being subjected to on a daily basis,” it said.

“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.”

It went on to point out that J R.R. Tolkein‘s world is inherently multicultural. Like, there are literally elves and dwarves. Come on.

“Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white,” the statement continued.

“BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

The statement also gave a massive shoutout to fans of colour, acknowledging the racist vitriol they experience in fandom spaces.

“Your cosplays, fancams, fan art and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose,” it said.

“You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family — thanks for having our backs.”

Actors from the OG Lord of the Rings film trilogy Elijah WoodDominic Monaghan, Billy Boyd and Sean Astin— AKA Hobbit icons Frodo, Merry, Pippin and Samwise — shared pics of themselves in inclusive merch.

The merch was designed by Lord of the Rings TikToker (iconic job title) Don Marshall and says “you all are welcome here” in Elvish, which is a sweet touch.

The statement comes after reports that The Rings Of Power might be getting review-bombed by trolls and salty fans.

The review-bombing allegations cropped up thanks to Rotten Tomatoes ‘cos there was a massive gap between the critic reviews and audience reviews of the show.

The average critic review popped The Rings of Power at a solid 84 per cent, but for audiences it was just 36 per cent. And over on Amazon itself, reviews for the show were temporarily suspended.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, a source said reviews had been suspended for “72 hours to help weed out trolls” and to make sure all the comments  were legit. Apparently that source then said Amazon’s review-pausing policy was started over the US summer for all its shows.

A number of the Rotten Tomatoes reviews were critical of how diverse the show’s cast and story is. This unfortunately isn’t unexpected: back when The Rings of Power‘s cast and trailer were released, there was racist backlash from trolls and Tolkien “fans”.

“Rings of Wokeness,” wrote on person in their one-star Rotten Tomatoes review. I’m sure they were very proud of themselves for cooking that one up.

Could have been so good without the heavy handed ‘today’s values’ clumsily injected into the story and casting,” said another, which is both grim and ridiculous. 

Quite a lot of people also commented about female elf Galadriel — one of the main characters of the show — being “unlikeable” and “irritating”.

Ah, the classic “female characters are only valid if they’re likeable” argument rears its ugly head!

Back when the trailer for The Rings of Power was released Morfydd Clark, Galadriel’s actress, criticised backlash of its diversity.

“[Tolkein] was a really complex person who wrote a really complex world and this idea that anyone could know exactly what he would’ve wanted or what he would’ve liked is, I feel, nonsense,” she told Inverse.

Similarly, Lenny Henry — who plays the harfoot Sadoc Burrows on the show — spoke about the backlash from fans regarding increased diversity in fantasy.

They have no trouble believing in a dragon, but they do have trouble believing that a Black person could be a member of the court. Or that a Black person could be a hobbit or an elf,” he told GQ, referencing a conversation with House of the Dragon‘s Steve Toussaint.

As pointed out by The Hollywood Reporter at the time, a big chunk of negative reviews weren’t explicitly critical of the show’s diversity — a number of fans seemed mostly annoyed about how The Rings of Power interpreted J.R.R Tolkein’s writing.

Despite the criticism and apparent review-bombing, the show’s so far received a bunch of praise from critics and other fans.

It’s also really important that the show has taken an active stance against the racist backlash. Fantasy is for everyone, you absolute weirdos.