Sunday May 26, 2024

'Rings of Power' alum Sophia Nomvete pushback series racism

Some Tolkien loyal fans did not approve diverse cast in Amazon's 'The Rings of Power'

By Web Desk
June 01, 2023
Rings of Power alum Sophia Nomvete pushback series racism
'Rings of Power' alum Sophia Nomvete pushback series racism

Sophia Nomvete is speaking out on her experience when she braced intense racist attacks after she was roped in as a black dwarf queen in Prime Video's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Appearing at The Hollywood Reporter's second annual Raising Our Voices luncheon, Nomvete joined the panel on The State of Inclusion in Storytelling.

"When the announcement came out and pictures went up about just our faces of who we were playing, I was statistically the same most attacked cast member of the entire show," she continued. "There were N-bombs; I had no place here. 'You're too fat; you're too black. 

"Why are you here?' I had one that was actually very polite, who said, 'I'm sure that you're a wonderful actress and a really lovely person. I just, I don't think you should be part of this; it's not right. If you could potentially just send a letter to Amazon with your resignation, I'd be very grateful.'" Nomvete cheekily said.

"I thought, 'No, I'm not going to do that; I can't.' I can't afford to resign for you, so sadly, I'm here to stay," even as her family faced threats.

In deciding to remain on the Amazon series, "I realized that my place in this show is not just a celebration, it is an act of defiance against a reality that is simply not true, which is that we have no place on screens or in fantasy spaces," she added.

The streamer also issued a strong statement against backlash on the casting of colour.

“We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subject to on a daily basis," it reads.

"We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it. JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural. A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. “Rings of Power” reflects that. Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white. Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in middle-earth and they are here to stay."