The original cast of The Lord of the Rings is sticking up for the diverse new television series. After racist trolls criticized Amazon Prime Video’s Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for its cast that includes several people of color, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd united to send a clear message to the haters. The trio, who starred in the iconic film franchise, all wore matching white T-shirts, with depictions of the franchise characters’ ears in various skin tones.
You Are All Welcome Here @LOTRonPrime @DonMarshall72 #RingsOfPower https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f pic.twitter.com/nWytILT0zG
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) September 7, 2022
Elijah, 41, shared the photo of he and his co-stars to Twitter, with the message, “You Are All Welcome Here.” Elijah stood in between Dominic, 45, and Billy, 54, and they all smiled at the camera with their mouths closed. Elijah also included a link to an online store that sells different articles of clothing with the same visuals that support The Rings of Power.
Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee in the fantasy movies, wore a white hat with the same graphics of the diverse ears in a photo he shared to Twitter. Sean shared the same message that his co-stars did, and he also included the link to the online store.
You are all welcome here.#RingsOfPower @LOTRonPrime #MiddleEarth #Samwise @ElijahWood @BillyBoydActor @DomsWildThings @DonMarshall72 https://t.co/w2tdZ4nFwN pic.twitter.com/f4RsBKE9an
— Sean Astin (@SeanAstin) September 7, 2022
Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power premiered September 1 and features a diverse cast that includes Ismael Cruz Cordova, who plays Arondir, Lenny Henry, who plays Sadoc Burrows, and Nazanin Boniadi, who plays Bronwyn. Ahead of the show’s debut, Lenny applauded the show’s producers for its inclusive casting. “I didn’t see anybody in charge of anything that looked like me for a very long time, so that is lonely,” he told The Times. “You’ve got all of these people now saying the same things that I started saying in 2000, which is, ‘The industry needs to change and can it hurry up, please.’ ”
House of the Dragon, HBO’s new Game of Thrones prequel, has also been criticized for its diverse casting. Whoopi Goldberg was one of the first stars in Hollywood to defend the diverse casting of both shows and rail against the racist trolls.
“I want to start by saying: These are not real,” Whoopi said on the Sept. 6 episode of The View. “There are no dragons, there are no hobbits, and there are critics who are saying they were too woke by adding — yes — diverse characters, Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake too?’ ” Listen to Whoopi, folks, because this criticism is so unwarranted!