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‘Percy Jackson’ author Rick Riordan slams backlash at Annabeth casting: ‘Friends, that is racism’

‘Percy Jackson’ author Rick Riordan slams backlash at Annabeth casting: ‘Friends, that is racism’


Rick Riordan has sturdy phrases for followers upset with the casting of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians,” an upcoming Disney+ present primarily based on his guide collection of the identical identify.

On Tuesday, the younger grownup novelist, 57, spoke out towards backlash the present has acquired after Variety introduced final Thursday that Leah Jeffries, a 12-year-old Black actress, will play Annabeth Chase, whom Riordan described within the books as white.

“The response to the casting of Leah has been overwhelmingly optimistic and joyous, correctly,” Riordan wrote on his website. “Leah brings a lot power and enthusiasm to this function, a lot of Annabeth’s energy. She shall be a job mannequin for brand new generations of ladies who will see in her the sort of hero they need to be.”

However the writer added not each response has been supportive.

“When you’ve got an issue with this casting, nevertheless, take it up with me. You haven’t any one else guilty,” he continued. “We must always be capable to agree that bullying and harassing a toddler on-line is inexcusably mistaken. As sturdy as Leah is, as a lot as we have now mentioned the potential for this sort of response and the extraordinary stress this function will carry, the unfavorable feedback she has acquired on-line are out of line. They should cease. Now.”

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Riordan stated his objective with casting was to search out performers who might “inhabit and produce to life the personalities of those characters” no matter what they seemed like.

“A few of you’ve got apparently felt offended or exasperated when your objections are known as out on-line as racist. ‘However I’m not racist,’ you say. ‘It isn’t racist to need an actor who’s correct to the guide’s description of the character!’ Let’s study that assertion.”

The writer added that these saying Jeffries would not match the function as a result of she’s not white are dismissing her “years of laborious work honing her craft, her expertise, her tenacity, her focus, her display presence.”

“You might have determined that I couldn’t presumably imply what I’ve all the time stated: That the true nature of the character lies of their persona. You’re feeling I will need to have been coerced, brainwashed, bribed, threatened, no matter, or I as a white male writer by no means would have chosen a Black actor for the a part of this canonically white woman.”

‘Percy Jackson’ author Rick Riordan not a fan of the film adaptations, calls them a ‘mess’

He continued: “You’re judging her appropriateness for this function solely and completely on how she appears. She is a Black woman enjoying somebody who was described within the books as white. Buddies, that’s racism.”

Along with saying Jeffries as Annabeth, Selection additionally reported “Cheaper by the Dozen” star Aryan Simhadri will play satyr Grover. Walker Scobell from “The Adam Challenge” had already been introduced as collection protagonist Percy Jackson. 

In Could 2020, Riordan confirmed on Twitter {that a} live-action collection primarily based on his books about children descended from Greek gods could be coming to Disney+. 

“Relaxation assured that (my spouse) Becky & I shall be concerned in individual in each side of the present,” he wrote in the announcement. “Buckle up, demigods. It will be a implausible, thrilling experience!”

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