LONDON, June 6 (UPI) — Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said she was disgusted by the racist reaction to the decision to cast a black actress as Hermione for the stage production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”
Rowling called the commentators “a bunch of racists,” The Guardian reported.
Olivier-award winning actress Noma Dumezweni was cast in the role of the studious heroine of Hogwarts in the production expected to be the theatrical event of the season. It broke records with 175,000 seats sold within 24 hours.
“With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to be idiots,” Rowling said. “But what can you say? That’s the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job.”
Rowling has said there is no reason Hermione has to be white. The books don’t mention race or skin color.
“She can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm,” Rowling said.
The two-part production will open at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End in late July.
Audiences got to preview the show last week, but were asked to arrive an hour early and have their bags searched, following an incident in which security had difficulty preventing audience members from filming Benedict Cumberbatch‘s performance of “Hamlet.“