For a while, there seemed to be a huge shadow over the world, and then it disappeared – still there, albeit less ominously. Some people can confidently believe that they are seeing progress. hallucinations? Maybe. But not without value. However, some seek the cover of that shadow to hide their insecurities, failures, and futility. They cannot imagine the infinite potential for progress. Trapped in their own ugly ignorance and hatred, miserable little trolls seek a return, but prove too inept to succeed, even if they are inspired by the lies of their weak leader.
I could easily discuss Middle-earth, but I am not. What I’m talking about is our very real world, and social media as an extension of that world. For the past week, I’ve been bombarded with hateful messages known as the N-word, told to go back to Africa, and asked to be executed. reason? Lord of the Rings . It would be almost laughable if it wasn’t so sad. A rich story, and a willingness to believe in wizards, Balrogs, giant spiders, and magical swords. But are people of color allowed to exist in Middle-earth? Well, that’s an insult to all that is good and decent. At least that’s the main argument for those destructive trolls who apparently censored bombing and swooping in on Amazon’s Ring of Power
on harassing fans of color series.
I’ve been a fan of the JRR Tolkien world for as long as I can remember. I was watching Rankin and Bass The Hobbit (1977) and The Return of the King (1977) Repeat. When it came time for the school book fair, I was the first in my class to adopt Tolkien’s work. Not just The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings , but also the Silmarillion , The Unfinished Story and The History of Middle-earth . I wrote my fifth grade biographical report on CS Lewis and his friendship with Tolkien. WhenRalph Bakshi’sLord of the Rings(1978) was reissued on VHS and my mom took me to the store to buy it the day it was released.
In middle school, I listened to The Lord of the Rings on tape on the bus. When Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings came out, those movies defined my adolescence like Star Wars and Sam Remy’s Spider-Man . The Fellowship of the Ring is the first DVD I own. I’ve collected every Burger King goblet and played every video game, even though most of them are admittedly terrible. I say all of this not to portray myself as an expert on Middle-earth, but to portray this fantasy world as an inherent part of me, the key to my DNA. So why can’t I be happy when I see people like me in Middle-earth? What makes me unworthy of this pop culture heritage?
At this point I hear all the arguments in the book about why actors Lenny Henry, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Nazanin Boniadi, Sara Zwangobani, Maxine Cunliffe and Sophia Nomvete shouldn’t play harfoots, elves, Dwarves, and even humans in Middle-earth set in the Amazon series. The most common claim is that Tolkien did not include people of color in his stories. Not only is this untrue, as harfoots are described as having “brown” skin, but Tolkien doesn’t often emphasize skin color, although he occasionally leans toward an open-ended “fairer than”
However, the idea still exists because Tolkien was trying to create an English myth that he intended for Middle-earth to be made up of white people only. This ignores people of colour who have lived in England throughout history, and that the first modern Britons were dark skinned, based on Cheddar , One10,000 year old skeleton found in 1954.
While it makes no sense to speculate on the reaction of an incomprehensible dead person 21 to him in 10 century when he died, Tolkien was clearly anti-racist, even in that period. The biographer noted that Tolkien was very opposed to the Aryan ideology popularized by the Nazis and colonialism in South Africa. While some Twitter accounts had to remind me that they thought orcs were Tolkien’s view of people of color, there is no evidence in Tolkien’s writings or in his life to support this (instead, there is ample evidence that his contemporaries, for example, of racism in his writing and personal life by HP Lovecraft).
But here’s the thing: even Tolkien’s early 20 centuries of progress are the same as today’s Unlike his progressive attitude, it has nothing to do with adaptations or extensions of his work. Things will change. 10 movies and TV shows that came out when The Lord of the Rings came out, apparently It looks very different from what we see today in terms of cast selection. So Rings of Power looks like Peter Jackson’s 10 different movies) a few years ago. The system adapts, people are officially denied the opportunity to showcase their talents, they get a spotlight, and they can and do get it. Throughout the history of visual media, viewers of color who are asked and adept at empathizing with whites may want to see themselves on screen and see those desires validated.
If anything, Rings of Power has the opportunity to be more inclusive in future seasons. While the cast includes Black, Latino, MENA and Pacific Islander actors, as of now, Asian actors are still lacking, actor Ludi Lin pointed out last year 1235211190. Chinese-British executive producer and director of most of the first season, Wayne Yeh, showed the behind-the-scenes diversity in this regard, but there’s clearly room to grow in front of the camera as well. Finally, let’s get real here. The vast majority of the cast is still white, and the roles audiences will recognize from Jackson’s films are still played by white actors. The only reason people have to complain about the cast selection is the result of sheer paranoia, despite their attempts to cover their butts with “bad acting” and “not enough experience.”
What the discussion about Ring of Power shows that we live in a rationalization of racism. Those who keep consuming corporate media to add a bit of personality to their little heads while bragging about the avatars of popular IPs are now crying Ring of Power fans are supporting “evil” ” The ethics of Amazon and Jeff Bezos. So-called Tolkien purists are using Jackson’s films as armor to support an all-white cast, despite the fact that Jackson and co-authors Fran Walsh and Philippabo Enns made a number of major changes to Tolkien’s novels when they turned them into films, including playing with the timeline and adding new characters, like Rings of Power.
Of course, there is a tried-and-true argument: People of color should create their own stories, not plug themselves into existing worlds, which again assumes we don’t exist in those worlds, if We do, and they’ll support these stories. But my favorite, it spat at me multiple times: “If these projects don’t try to force diversity and awakening, then these actors don’t have to deal with racism. Really, they are the ones that are used. ‘ And all that ultimately means, ‘If you don’t exist, if you don’t have your skin, you don’t have to suffer abuse.
I’m doing my best to make these things as easy as possible to stimulate the absurdity of it all. But the truth is, being told you can’t exist in a fantasy world, can’t be a genie because you have fades, Can’t be a midget because the climate doesn’t foster dark skin and can’t be free to exist in a real world where every time you walk through a block could be your last, and just going shopping can leave you blown away It’s shocking and grotesque to be shot and the flashing lights of police cars are the cause of anxiety.
The simple answer, at least on Twitter, is block. Trust me, I’ve blocked hundreds One. But it does little to quell the noise. So, let’s make a little more noise. The thorns are glowing and all kinds of trolls and orcs and goblins are advancing, but they won’t pass. I refuse to be told I cannot be a part of the world I love, and I urge others facing the sting of arrows to do the same. Because we have taken Middle-earth now, we exist and we will not leave.