Lord Of The Rings stars have condemned the “relentless” racist abuse and harassment suffered by cast members of Amazon’s new Rings Of Power series.
Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monoghan – who all played Hobbits in the original film trilogy – shared posts of solidarity online with the caption “You Are All Welcome Here”.
Since Lord Of The Rings: Rings Of Power premiered last week on Amazon Prime, actors in the prequel have been subjected to racist comments over the decision to cast people of colour in some of the fictional race roles of elves, dwarves and Harfoots.
Wood and Astin both tweeted pictures of themselves wearing clothes emblazoned with images of pointed ears of different colours.
They also had lettering reading “You Are All Welcome Here”, written in the Elvish language.
Cast members of the Amazon series addressed the racist backlash in a joint statement posted online, saying they “refused to ignore or tolerate” the abuse.
Actors of colour in the show include Sir Lenny Henry, Sophia Nomvete and Ismael Cruz Cordova.
The statement said: “We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of colour are being subjected to on a daily basis.
“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.
“JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multicultural.
“A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that.
“Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”
The statement also thanked fans of colour for their “love and fellowship” who had also received abuse.
“We see you, your bravery, and endless creativity. Your cosplays, fancams, fan art, and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose.
“You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family – thanks for having our backs.”
Lord Of The Rings: Rings Of Power premiered on Amazon Prime on 2 September, with the first two episodes available to view now.