The Black Hermione Controversy
By Sophie Clark
We all know the magical series of Harry Potter as a lighthearted tale of witches and wizards fighting evil and learning charms and skills in Defense Against the Dark Arts. Let’s say for a moment that the movies were never made and this world was left almost entirely to our imagination. What would that world look like to you? It would look different to every individual who read these books. For the upcoming London play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the director, with his own idea of the world in his mind, cast a black woman to play Hermione: Noma Dumezweni, born in Swaziland. This casting choice has become very controversial around the world, with people saying that it is wrong to cast a black Hermione – who have, honestly, nothing to back up their argument.
J.K. Rowling has stated that the color of Hermione’s skin was never specified in the books, so there shouldn’t be an issue with this, and “Rowling loves black Hermione.” (as stated in her tweet.)
Emma Watson has expressed her love for her African doppelgänger and if Emma Watson says its okay, it’s okay.
Matthew Lewis has expressed his support by stating that Neville was supposed to have blonde hair, and he doesn’t even care.
Another point that has been made the actor playing Ron doesn’t have red hair, yet nobody is freaking out about that! If anyone was told not to do their job because of their hair color, people would go crazy, so what’s the difference?
Overall, whoever is playing who, Hermione is a character we have all pictured in our own ways, and others could have a completely different vision. Great actors are great actors, regardless of their race.