‘Middle-earth is not completely white’: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ makers refute criticism

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“Middle Earth Isn’t All White”
The creators of “The Lord of the Rings” resist criticism

The budget of the Amazon series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is record-breaking. And the format is also well received by millions of fans who have already seen the first episodes. But critics also speak with racist undertones. The makers are now against them.

In response to hostilities over their relatively diverse cast, the creators of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power have condemned racism. “We stand in solidarity with our cast,” said a statement on the format’s official Twitter account. And further: “Our world has never been completely white, fantasy has never been completely white, Middle-earth is not completely white. BIPOC belongs to Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

The abbreviation BIPOC (also BPOC and POC) comes from Anglo-American usage. It stands for “(Black or Black Indigenous) People of Color” and means all people who are exposed to various forms of racism.

25 million views

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” is a current Major and Prestige Project brought to you by Amazon Prime Video. After the first two episodes have been available since September 2, a new episode is now online every week. A total of eight episodes have been made so far.

The series follows in great footsteps. It’s been about 20 years since director Peter Jackson brought the original literary template for JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” to the big screen. The films still enjoy cult status.

So it’s not surprising that Amazon alone would have spent between 750 million and a billion dollars on the first season of the series, which takes place thousands of years before the original story. But it would have been worth it: right after the first day, Amazon reported a record 25 million viewers.

“Multicultural by definition”

In the current Twitter statement from the series creators, the non-white fans are expressly thanked: “You are welcome, you are loved and you hear.” The explanation is that author Tolkien once created a world “which is by definition multicultural”. “A world where peoples and cultures unite…to defeat the forces of evil.”

In recent days, numerous celebrities, such as fantasy author Neil Gaiman or Hollywood star Whoopi, have resisted the racist criticism of the series. Several contributors to The Lord of the Rings movies have also shared their voices on their social media accounts to promote diversity. They include Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan and “Hobbit” actor Elijah Wood.

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