Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan has slammed ‘racist’ trolls in a scathing statement following the online harassment of Leah Jeffries, a 12-year-old black actress, who recently starred in the TV adaptation of the fantasy series.
In a post shared on her website Tuesday, Riordan criticized a subset of angry fans that the role of Annabeth, who is “described as white in the books,” will be played by a young black woman. ‘Guys, that’s racism,’ she wrote.
The 57-year-old expressed sadness that he even had to defend the casting, saying in no uncertain terms that the role went to best actress for the part, adding: “We should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online it is unforgivably wrong.’
‘That’s racism’: Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan slammed ‘racist’ trolls in a scathing statement following the online harassment of Leah Jeffries, a 12-year-old black actress, who recently starred in the TV adaptation of the fantasy. series (Riordan, left; Jeffries, right)
“This post is specifically for those who have a problem with the casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase,” Riordan wrote.
Last week, Disney+ completed the cast of the upcoming series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, announcing Leah Jeffries and Aryan Simhadri as Annabeth and Grover.
“The response to Leah’s casting has been overwhelmingly positive and upbeat, as it should be. Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be,’ she continued.
However, if you have any problems with this casting, please discuss it with me. You have no one else to blame. Regardless of what you take away from this post, we should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online is inexcusably wrong,’ the author wrote.
In a post shared on her website Tuesday, Riordan criticized a subset of angry fans that the role of Annabeth, who is “described as white in the books,” will be played by a young black woman. “Friends, that is racism.”
The character of Annabeth is “described as white in the books” and was played by white actress Alexandra Daddario in the film series, but for the television adaptation, Riordan explained that the team employed “the Disney company’s non-discrimination policy “.
This meant that the casting department sought “qualified performers, without regard to disability, gender, race and ethnicity, age, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by law.”
Riordan, who was heavily involved in the process, called it “long, intense, massive and exhaustive”, but worth it because it led to finding “the best of the best”.
“Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase,” he said bluntly.
“Apparently some of you have been offended or exasperated when your objections are branded racist online,” he explained.
“Either you’re unaware, or you’ve discounted, Leah’s years of hard work to hone her craft, her talent, her tenacity, her focus, her screen presence. You refuse to believe that her selection could have been based on merit.
You are judging his suitability for this role solely and solely by his looks. She is a black girl who plays someone who is described in the books as white. Friends, that’s racism. (Annabeth portrayed in the film series played by Alexandra Daddario)
“Without seeing her play the part, he has prejudged her (pre + judge = bias) and decided that she must have been hired simply to fill a quota or check a diversity box,” she chided.
Riordan noted that critics believe that he, the creator of the characters, “must have been coerced, brainwashed, bribed, threatened, whatever, or I, as a white male author, would never have cast a black actor in the movie.” role of this canonically white character. girl. ‘
In the series, Percy Jackson, a demigod who is half mortal human and half immortal god, is accused by the sky god Zeus of stealing his master lightning bolt.
Percy must now go on a journey across America to find this lightning bolt and return to Zeus on Olympus with the help of his friends Annabeth and Grover.
“Once you see Leah as Annabeth, she will become exactly the way you envision Annabeth assuming you give her that chance, but refuse to believe this can be true,” Riordan wrote. You are judging her suitability for this role solely and exclusively by her looks. She is a black girl who plays someone who is described in the books as white.
“Friends, that is racism.”
He went on to say that he is proud of this new series and that it “honors the spirit of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”
“Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase,” he said bluntly. “Either you’re not aware of, or you’ve discounted, Leah’s years of hard work honing her craft, her talent, her tenacity, her focus, her screen presence. You refuse to believe that her choice could have been based on merit.
Adding: ‘If you don’t understand that, if you’re still upset about the casting of this wonderful trio, then it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve read the books. You learned nothing from them.’
Riordan will co-write the pilot script with Jon Steinberg, with James Bobin set to direct the pilot episode. Production is expected to begin shortly in Vancouver, according to Variety.
Steinberg will oversee the series with his producing partner Dan Shotz, who will also executive produce with Riordan, Bobin, Rebecca Riordan, Bert Salke, Monica Owusu-Breen, Jim Rowe and Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell and DJ Goldberg of The Gotham Group.
The first of Riordan’s books, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was adapted into a film in 2010, starring Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth Chase, and Brandon T. Jackson as Grover Underwood.
They also starred in the 2013 sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, though the other books in the franchise were never adapted.
Fantasy: Percy Jackson, a demigod who is half mortal human and half immortal god, is accused by the sky god Zeus of stealing his master lightning bolt (Brandon T. Jackson, Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario in the Percy Jackson movie)