‘Percy Jackson’ Writer Slams Backlash Over Annabeth Disney+ Casting

‘Percy Jackson’ Writer Slams Backlash Over Annabeth Disney+ Casting

Rick Riordan, the creator of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is talking out towards racist backlash from followers upset with the casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase within the upcoming Disney+ adaptation. After Chases’ casting was confirmed on Might 5, some followers of the ebook sequence slammed the casting for not visually aligning with the books, by which Riordan described Annabeth as white, with Jeffries later saying in an Instagram dwell that her TikTok account was now gone because of the bullying. On Tuesday, the younger grownup novelist addressed the ordeal, telling followers that the “bullying” and harassment of Jeffries “have to cease. Now.”

In a weblog submit directed “particularly for individuals who have an issue with the casting of Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase,” Rioridan started by acknowledging and commending these followers who met Jeffries’ casting with a “optimistic and joyous.” He famous that the younger actress “brings a lot vitality and enthusiasm to this position, a lot of Annabeth’s power,” including that “she might be a job mannequin for brand new generations of women who will see in her the type of hero they need to be.” Nonetheless, whereas the response has been “overwhelmingly optimistic,” Riordan acknowledged {that a} small portion of the fandom has reacted negatively.

“If in case you have an issue with this casting, nevertheless, take it up with me. You don’t have any one else in charge,” he wrote. “No matter else you’re taking from this submit, we should always be capable of agree that bullying and harassing a toddler on-line is inexcusably flawed. As robust as Leah is, as a lot as we’ve got mentioned the potential for this sort of response and the extreme strain this position will convey, the unfavorable feedback she has obtained on-line are out of line. They should cease. Now.”

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Addressing the casting for the present, Riordan reminded followers, “I used to be fairly clear a 12 months in the past, after we introduced our first open casting, that we might be following Disney’s firm coverage on nondiscrimination,” including that “because the creator, that I used to be searching for the most effective actors to inhabit and produce to life the personalities of those characters, and that bodily look was secondary for me.” Riordan, nevertheless, mentioned some followers fo the books “are judging her appropriateness for this position solely and solely on how she appears to be like. She is a Black woman taking part in somebody who was described within the books as white,” including, “Mates, that’s racism.”

“The core message of Percy Jackson has all the time been that distinction is power. There’s energy in plurality. The issues that distinguish us from each other are sometimes our marks of particular person greatness,” he shared. “You need to by no means choose somebody by how nicely they suit your preconceived notions. That neurodivergent child who has failed out of six faculties, as an illustration, could be the son of Poseidon. Anybody could be a hero.”

Jeffries is ready to star within the upcoming Disney+ sequence alongside Ayran Simhadri as Grover Underwood and Walker Scobell, who’s taking part in the title position. The sequence relies on Riordan’s books, which inform the story of a 12-year-old fashionable demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s simply coming to phrases along with his newfound divine powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his grasp lightning bolt. Together with Annabeth and Grover, he units out on an journey of a lifetime to seek out it and restore order to Olympus. A premiere date for the sequence has not been introduced.

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