Noma Dumezweni on the Racist Trolling That Came With Being Cast as Hermione

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Internet outrage accompanied the decision to cast a black woman, Noma Dumezweni, as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The British actress has fielded no small part of that fury herself. 

Dumezweni told the U.K.'s Sunday Times she believes the anger is born out of an audience unfamiliar with a non-white Hermione.

"I am a black woman who has been given this character called Hermione to play on the stage," she said. "But actually, we've all grown up with the books, with Emma Watson playing her in the films. Imagery is so strong."

While many have praised the casting of Dumezweni in the role, others have been acutely unkind, tagging her in content "that's not nice," she said. 

And yet, Rowling never specified Hermione's race — something on which the author doubled down on in her initial tweet of support. The world just assumed the series female protagonist was white, and we all know what happens when a person assumes.

"It's ignorance," Dumezweni said, not for the first time. "It drives me crazy. It's a limitation. Because this is absolutely a different form."

Hermione, said the actress, is a character that speaks to women and girls worldwide because of her strength. "Every girl, every walk of life, every race, gets it — how do we go into the world? I want to go into the world the way she does," she continued. "Am I brave enough to go through what she does?"

It would seem so. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens on July 30 in London and is already garnering raves.

Read more:
JK Rowling Calls Out a "Bunch of Racists" for Inability to Accept Black Hermione Granger
'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' Unveils First Look at Black Hermione, Sorry Haters
JK Rowling Claps Back at a Racist Twitter User Who Says Hermione Can't Be Black

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Episode 5 of 'The Bachelorette' ends with a cliffhanger

The drama is "to be continued..."

‘American Horror Story’ creator Ryan Murphy releases a chilling new clue for season 7

It looks like the election won't be the only scary thing in the spotlight next season.

These are the most glowing reviews for 'War for the Planet of the Apes'

It's far from your average summer blockbuster.

The most awkward 2-on-1 dates from 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette'

We're ready for Rachel Lindsay's two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee.

Will ‘GLOW’ be renewed for season 2? Even the cast doesn’t know what’s going on.

No official word yet on this nostalgia-filled new series.

Beyoncé's BET Awards acceptance speech thanks family, but stays mum on twins

Beyoncé thanked her family during her BET Awards speech but gave no mention of the twins.

Episode 5 of 'The Bachelorette' ends with a cliffhanger

The drama is "to be continued..."

‘American Horror Story’ creator Ryan Murphy releases a chilling new clue for season 7

It looks like the election won't be the only scary thing in the spotlight next season.

These are the most glowing reviews for 'War for the Planet of the Apes'

It's far from your average summer blockbuster.

The most awkward 2-on-1 dates from 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette'

We're ready for Rachel Lindsay's two-on-one date with Kenny and Lee.

Will ‘GLOW’ be renewed for season 2? Even the cast doesn’t know what’s going on.

No official word yet on this nostalgia-filled new series.

Beyoncé's BET Awards acceptance speech thanks family, but stays mum on twins

Beyoncé thanked her family during her BET Awards speech but gave no mention of the twins.