Though it has been quite some time since J.K. Rowling has wrapped up her Harry Potter book series, she has kept fans very happy and kept herself very busy in the wizarding world. Outside of the amusement parks, spinoffs and Pop figures, Rowling has also written a continuation of the main Harry Potter story in the form of a two part stage play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. However, some fans have been pretty outraged about a particular casting choice and Rowling is not happy about it.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Rowling addressed the recent outcry, which came as a result of actress Noma Dumezweni landing the role of Hermione. The problem? Well, it hasn't sat right with many fans that Dumezweni is black. Rowling, on the other hand thinks she is perfect for the job and has went as far as to call the criticism "racist."
"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. 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."
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to debut for a preview run in London tomorrow and the story takes place 19 years after the events of The Deathly Hallows. Fans are very attached to the versions of the characters that were brought to life over the course of eight films and Hermione was of course brought to the big screen by Emma Watson. She is noticeably not of the same skin color as Dumezweni, but this is a play and not another movie, so it shouldn't necessarily be expected to be so beholden to details that were put forth in the films. Not to mention that it should of course come down to who is right for the part, which Rowling thinks is Dumezweni.
"But what can you say? That's the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job."
At the moment, The Cursed Child is truly meant to be its own thing and will exist only as a stage play, even though it is a continuation of the Harry Potter story. Fans who can't see the play, which may be a large majority due to very high demand, can read the story but only in the form of published script of the play. Rowling wrote the play herself and as with virtually anything Potter related up to this point, she is very much in control and really hasn't let her fan base down as of yet.
Even if some people aren't happy with the casting choice for what seems like a very arbitrary reason, early buzz is very positive and demand is very high for The Cursed Child. That isn't the only Harry Potter goodness on the way for fans either, as the Eddie Redmayne led Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff film is arriving in theaters this November, which Rowling also write the script for. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child officially opens on July 30 and the book of the script is set for release on July 31.