How Lord of the Rings Stars Are Standing Up For Rings of Power Cast After Racist Comments

·3 min read

Middle-earth is showing a united front.

After two actors from The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Ismael Cruz Córdova and Lenny Henry, to be exact, revealed they had been subjected to racist abuse online, cast members from the original Peter Jackson trilogy showed their support for the stars.

On Sept, 7, Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the trilogy, tweeted a photo of himself and co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, who played Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took, respectively.

In the photo, the actors are all wearing custom shirts reading "You Are All Welcome Here" in Elvish with ears of the various Middle-earth races in all different skin tones.

Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, also posted a photo of himself in a hat with the same design on Sept. 7.

The apparel, designed by Don Marshall, is available for purchase on the artist's website and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to "a charity that supports POC."

In addition, Córdova and Henry received support from their own cast mates in the form of a group statement posted to Córdova's Instagram on Sept. 7.

"We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment and abuse some of the cast, like myself, are being subjected to on a daily basis," the statement read in part. "We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it."

The Cast of The Lord of the Rings Then and Now

This show of support comes a week after Cordova, who plays Arondir on the Prime Video series, told Esquire that his social media inboxes have been flooded with messages that feature "pure and vicious hate speech." According to Cordova, the harassment started following his casting announcement. which was made two years ago.

"I fought so hard for this role for this very reason," he said. "I felt that I could carry that torch. I made sure that my elf was the most Elven, the most incredible, because I knew this was coming."

Henry, who plays Sadoc Burrows on Rings of Power, expressed similar experiences in an interview with The Times on Aug. 28.

"In worlds of dragons and elves," Burrows pondered, "why is the casting of a black man the limit at which fantasy fans are prepared to suspend their disbelief?"

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You Are All Welcome Here <a href="https://twitter.com/LOTRonPrime?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LOTRonPrime</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/DonMarshall72?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@DonMarshall72</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RingsOfPower?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RingsOfPower</a> <a href="https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f">https://t.co/8txOhlHa2f</a> <a href="https://t.co/nWytILT0zG">pic.twitter.com/nWytILT0zG</a></p>&mdash; Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) <a href="https://twitter.com/elijahwood/status/1567538865203970048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 7, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The stories of Córdova and Henry mirror comments recently made by House of the Dragon star Steve Toussaint.

The actor, who plays Corlys Velaryon on the HBO epic, faced similar abuse online after his casting was announced.

"When I got the gig, I literally was like, 'It's just another role because I have Black friends who had small parts or recurring parts in [Thrones],'" Toussaint told The Hollywood Reporter Aug. 15. "I didn't realize it was a bigger deal until I was racially abused on social media when it was announced. Yeah, that s--t happened."

New episodes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power drop Fridays on Prime Video.

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