It’s the year 2022 and a reliably maggot-ous core of our numbskull culture has stirred itself into a frenzy about the indignities of seeing Black elves and women who are good with swords on television. Because these kinds of people are, if nothing else, very good at being loud, the internet has been filled with complaints about people of color donning elf ears and hairy hobbit feet for The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power—an apparent affront to the “not-racist” viewers’ pleas for, uh, “accurate” all-white casts in 21st-century fantasy TV.
While The Rings Of Power seems to be doing just fine attracting an audience anyway, four of the world’s foremost hobbit thespians—Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, and Sean Astin —have taken to social media anyway to show that they’re not on board with internet complaints.
Wood, who played The Lord Of The Rings trilogy’s Frodo, tweeted a photo that shows him standing with Boyd and Monaghan (the films’ Pippin and Merry) while wearing t-shirts with a bunch of elf ears in different skin tones and a line of text that translates, according to shirt creator Don Marshall, to the Sindarin Elvish for “You All Are Welcome Here.”
The link included in Woods’ tweet goes to Marshall’s merchandise page for the shirt, which promises that “50% of all proceeds will go to a charity (to be selected by Don’s community) that [supports] POC.”
The one hobbit missing from Woods’ tweet, Sean “Samwise Gamgee” Astin posted a photo of himself wearing the same design on a hat a short while later. This was followed by Marshall tweeting out a picture of Rings Of Power’s baby Galadriel in a hoodie version and Ismael Cruz Cordova (who plays the show’s Arondir) sharing the tweets along with the caption, “We belong in Middle-earth.”
This show of support from the cast of the original film trilogy comes just after snake oil salesman and figurative internet troll Elon Musk declared that he was upset that a show featuring literal trolls also includes some mean, stupid men and nice, smart women in its cast—a complaint that The Sandman creator Neil Gaiman aptly responded to when asked for comment.
It sure seems like the close-minded doofuses complaining on the internet better start writing or starring in their own fantasy films and TV series if they want their complaints to be taken into account going forward.
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