Harry Potter fans call for Black actress to depict Hermione in ‘woke’ TV series

Harry Potter fans call for Black actress to depict Hermione in ‘woke’ TV series

Harry Potter fans call for black actress to depict Hermione in ‘woke’ TV series – yet voice concern over handling of ‘problematic’ slavery storyline

Harry Potter fans have sparked discussion over the internet about the casting of Hermione Granger in the upcoming TV adaptation of the books.

It was announced last month that a HBO Max TV series of the seven book series by J.K. Rowling will go ahead, with Warner Bros revealing that each season, which are to be executive produced by JK, will be based on one of the books in the franchise.

The books were also made into eight Potter films, which grossed more than £6b at the box office between 2001 and 2011 and launched the careers of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger).

Since the news was announced, discussion has arisen regarding the race of the actress playing Hermione, as there has been frequent debate about whether the bookish witch was black or white – something JK has never specified.

Many fans have called for a black actress to be cast, which led to further debate about how the S.P.E.W storyline will be handled – in which Hermione launches an antislavery campaign for house elves in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.

Changes: Discourse around a black Hermione first began in 2015, when it was announced that South African-British actress Noma Dumezweni would play Hermione in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child - a stage play released the following year.

Discourse around a black Hermione first began in 2015, when it was announced that South African-British actress Noma Dumezweni would play Hermione in Harry Potter And The Cursed Child – a stage play released the following year.

Following outcry about the casting, JK stated that she had never specified Hermione’s race – and while it was shared that in Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban she wrote ‘white face’ she insisted it was a reference to shock, not literal.

On the backlash, she said at the time: ‘With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot. But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.’

Now, ahead of casting for the TV series, fans took to Twitter to speculate over the casting of Hermione – noting a black actress was probable.

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Calling: Twitter was awash with comments about the casting

Twitter users penned: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Hermione is black in the new Harry Potter reboot… I want them to hire a black trans actress as Hermione in the new series… Or I’m calling it that Hermione is gonna be black or harry potter…

‘Sorry to disappoint some of you but I’d love to see a black Hermione in the upcoming Harry Potter TV series. @jk_rowling even likes it. There was already a black woman playing Hermione in the theatrical play and JK loved it…

‘If you’re going to do an Harry Potter remake at least give us a black hermione!!!! And don’t make Ron stop being ginger!!!!…

‘That’s the very least, we didn’t want this remake to begin with!!… I really hope JK Rowling sticks to her guns and makes Hermione black in the HBO Harry Potter reboot like she previously said she would be okay with doing…

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Not sure: Many fans have called for a black actress to be cast, which led to further debate about how the S.P.E.W storyline will be handled - in which Hermione launches an antislavery campaign for house elves in Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

‘If they’re really going to re-make Harry Potter then Hermione must be black. Those are the rules’.

Elsewhere, Hermione’s fight against slavery was pointed out as well as the frequent ‘Mudblood’ slur used against her to indicate she is a witch with Muggle parents.

In the fourth book, Hermione starts The Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare (S.P.E.W.) – an organisation founded in 1994 by in response to what she saw as gross injustice in the treatment of house-elves at the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.

Her passionate campaigning for the anti-slavery campaign is derided by her friends and classmates – something fans think will be difficult to tackle if she is cast as a black actress due to parallels of real life slavery.

Twitter users continued: ‘Thinking about the potential of a black actress being cast as hermione again in the harry potter tv show and for many reasons relating to how hermione is treated throughout the books i do not think that should happen..

‘Is the Harry Potter tv show gonna have black hermione. Because if so followup question, will it have SPEW…

Despite a new cast, the video teaser of the announcement revealed that the logo, which was designed by illustrator Mary GrandPré and used over 23 years ago, in the books, films and many official projects, will remain the same

‘WAIT because of the new harry potter thing, they now have to justify a black Hermione being called slurs and being bullied for being against slavery. I can’t even with these ppl.’

The outcry comes after fans were irked in the wake of the show’s announcement.

Despite a new cast, the video teaser of the announcement revealed that the logo, which was designed by illustrator Mary GrandPré and used over 23 years ago, in the books, films and many official projects, will remain the same.

The divisive nature of the TV series news was only further enhanced when fans grumbled about the ‘unoriginal’ use of the logo.

Incredible: J.K Rowling said she is 'looking forward' to being part of the new Harry Potter series and going into depth and detail which the films weren't able to do

JK Rowling has been given a role as executive producer on the show, alongside Neil Blair and Ruth Kenley-Letts. David Heyman, who executive produced all the Harry Potter movies, is currently in talks to executive produce.

J.K Rowling said she is ‘looking forward’ to being part of the new Harry Potter series and going into depth and detail which the films weren’t able to do.

The multimillionaire author said: ‘Max’s commitment to preserving the integrity of my books is important to me.

‘I’m looking forward to being part of this new adaptation which will allow for a degree of depth and detail only afforded by a long form television series’.

Discovery have described the new Harry Potter TV program as a ‘decade-long series’.

Different: The series will feature an entirely new cast from the films which saw Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) soar to fame in (pictured in 2003)

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Ciara Farmer

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