There’s a problem in Percy Jackson’s world, and it’s not just caused by the lightning thief.
Back in April, the upcoming Disney+ reboot series cast The Adam Project star Walker Scoble as protagonist Percy Jackson. Late last week, that was followed by selection A diverse Report on two other main characters. Aryan Simhadry was cast as Grover and Leah Sava Jeffries joined in as Annabeth, wrapping up most of the series’ main cast.
In the original books, Annabeth was the daughter of the Greek goddess Athena. She’s a warrior who trains Percy early on, later becoming friends and then more as the series progresses. In the previous film, she played the role of Alexandra Daddario.
There has been some backlash in the fan community to the portrayal of Jeffries as Annabeth, particularly for being black. at Instagram video The 12-year-old actress, who posted earlier today, said that people angry at her choice had her account banned on TikTok.
In response to the backlash, Rick Riordan fired the creator of Percy Jackson Statement on his personal website. He noted that most responses were positive and condemned those who had issues with Jeffries in the role.
“If you have a problem with that choice, take it with me,” Riordan said. “You can’t blame anyone else. No matter what you take from this post, we should be able to accept that bullying and molesting a child online is unjustifiably wrong. And as powerful as Leah is, the more we’ve discussed the possibility of this happening. The kind of backlash and intense pressure that this role will bring, the negative comments she’s received online are out of line. They should stop. Now.”
Riordan said the casting for the series has always aimed to be open and inclusive. He described the casting process as “long, intense, massive and extensive.” Riordan insisted that Jeffreys was the best actress for the role.
He went even further, dismissing the claims of those who said that Anbeth should be white to match the books. Riordan explained that the allegations came “from across the political spectrum, right and left,” but he denounced them all. “You judge her suitability for this role only and exclusively by her looks,” he said. “My friends, that’s racism.”
He invited fans to remember the themes of Percy Jackson’s books. “Percy Jackson’s primary message has always been that difference is strength. There is strength in pluralism. The things that set us apart are often our marks of individual greatness. No one should ever be judged by how well they fit your preconceptions. That child might be Divergent who failed in six schools, for example, the son of Poseidon. Anyone can be a hero. If you don’t understand it, if you are still upset with the choice of this wonderful trio, “It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve read the books,” Riordan said. You didn’t learn anything from it.”
This isn’t the first time that actors or actresses of color on a Disney project, or any project with a strong fan community, have gotten such a backlash. Both John Boyega And Kelly Marie Trang They were mistreated by fans and It could be Disney itself. Flash actress Candice Patton has been harassed online for years, ever since she was originally cast as Iris West on the series. In the end, the CW responded in an official statement on Twitter. Back in 2012, Amandla Stenberg faced a great deal of harassment for playing Rue in The Hunger Games. She was 13 years old at the time.
Percy Jackson Cannes Reboot Advertise with Disney + Back in 2020, along with a bunch of other shows and movies. This included most Marvel Studios shows, including The Hawk and the Winter SoldierAnd lokiAnd Coming Mrs. Marvel. Also included Obi-Wan Kenobithe series that will Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen reunite. This show airs on Disney+ on May 27, 2022.
Mike Williams is a freelance writer for IGN.
Image Credit: Disney