Well, that was depressingly fast: Two days ago, Lauren S. Hissrich, showrunner for Netflix’s much-anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, announced that she was leaving Twitter after being hit with a distracting avalanche of hate from online “fans”. Said furor had nothing to do with recently announced star Henry Cavil and his various facial hairs (for once), but rather the even-more-predictable topic of white dudes getting mad about potential diversity in casting.
Specifically, Hissrich began getting shit for a casting notice that recently went out for the key character of Ciri, the mystically empowered ward of grizzled monster hunter Geralt Of Rivia. In the Witcher games—which have been frequently criticized for presenting an abundantly white vision of medieval fantasy—the character was white-haired and pale-skinned. But the show’s casting notice is calling for a BAME (a British designation that stands for black, Asian, or minority ethnicity) actress to fill the role, and, obviously, folks who won’t bat an eye at man-devouring plants or drug-addicted mutants couldn’t be having with that.
Per The Daily Dot, there’s already a 40,000-strong Change.org petition asking the show’s producers not to “limit” Ciri to non-white casting. (It also contains a lot of language begging supporters not to attack the show’s production team, which, good luck with that, friend.) The argument is a rote one when topics like this come up: The Witcher books are Polish in origin, and depict a world based loosely on Eastern Europe, so why should there be people of color getting in the way of all the historically accurate white people, vampires, and dragons?
Anyway, Hissrich has had enough (although her reaction seems to be more amused annoyance than actual rage). She posted a farewell to all her angry admirers on Twitter, complete with promises of an eventual return and more content centered on Geralt’s awesome horse.