The Problem With Black Hermione

…Was never with black Hermione. It was Rowling and other’s response to it. There is quite obviously nothing wrong with wanting a character to look the way you imagine the character to look. Personally I really don’t care; stage plays aren’t movies, and there’s a long tradition of race-bending in stage shows. But if you’d prefer the character look the same way she does in your head, and how she’s obviously presented in the books, well, how is that unreasonable.

But here’s Rowling going on the record and saying “Haha, suckers! I never technically said Hermione was black! WHO’S RACIST NOW!!!!”. This despite the fact that the non-white characters in the book are always specified as non-white, and “Hermione Granger” is as white a name as white can be, and Rowling has sketches SHE DID of Hermione shown as white, and Rowling had a ton creative control of the movies and Emma Watson is white, and Hermione is described as pale several times in the books.

It’s bullshit. It was obvious Hermione was white, always obvious Hermione was white, and going on the record and claiming it was never part of her “official” character description or something is a lie. If Rowling had just said “I have no issue with Hermione being black, I’m sure the actor will do great!” that’s one thing. But Rowling worded it in a way that implied that anybody who assumed Hermione was black was a closet racist or something, or at the very least stuck in some bullshit world of white privilege.

And that pissed people off, hence the reactions being stronger than might be expected. Fuck that shit. Hermione’s not black, and everyone knows it – including J.K. Rowling.

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7 Responses to The Problem With Black Hermione

  1. dpmonahan says:

    Well, at least on top of her millions of dollars Rowling can have the added benefit of knowing that she is not a racist like her fans.

  2. zodak says:

    some girl posted a picture of a page where hermione was described as having a white face & the SJWs bullied her until she had to delete her twitter account.

  3. BenYachov(Jim the Scott) says:

    Casting Black Hermione is as tedious as if they case a buxom blonde blue eyed high cheek boned woman with a pronounced Swedish accent instead of an Emma Watson look alike with a proper British RP accent as they should. The former might make some sense in a play cast in Sweden but if the producers cast her based on an agenda (sexing her up as fan service for the boys) that is just tedious. Casting Black Hermione might make sense if the actress turned in such a fine and convincing performance as to justify the suspension of disbelief. Art must be served for it’s own sake. OHOH casting Black Hermione because one wishes to make some anachronistic racial equality statement then that is equally tedious as is Blonde sexy Hermione fan service.

    I await with baited breath for them to do White Panther for Marvel about a blonde English Prince who moves to Africa to serve his adopted African Father. Or Xeno Warrior Prince with his sidekick Gabriel. Mace Windu as a lesbian blonde Chinese woman with dyslexia and a Lavender Lightsaber should be coming down the pike. I so hate the PC you cannot imagine.

    Petronius’ death speech obtains.

    Petronius: [in his dying letter to Nero] To Nero, Emperor of Rome, Master of the World, Divine Pontiff. I know that my death will be a disappointment to you, since you wished to render me this service yourself. To be born in your reign is a miscalculation; but to die in it is a joy. I can forgive you for murdering your wife and your mother, for burning our beloved Rome, for befouling our fair country with the stench of your crimes. But one thing I cannot forgive – the boredom of having to listen to your verses, your second-rate songs, your mediocre performances. Adhere to your special gifts, Nero – murder and arson, betrayal and terror. Mutilate your subjects if you must; but with my last breath I beg you – do not mutilate the arts. Fare well, but compose no more music. Brutalize the people, but do not bore them, as you have bored to death your friend, the late Gaius Petronius.

    • I don’t think this actress was cast to make a statement. The casting I don’t care about if, as you said, she put on a good enough performance. Stage plays have historically had no problem using a variety of different “looks” for characters. It was the way Rowling talked about it that was insulting.

  4. Crude says:

    Yeah, I think if she just said ‘Okay, Hermione was white, but we want to diversify things’ it would have been… stupid, but not as bad. Trying this obnoxiously smug move of ‘Hmmmm, I never SAID she was white now did I, except for all those times I did. That means all of you are just racist.’ was absurd.

    • Oh, I’d still be pretty pissed. What I wouldn’t care about is if she said “I think she’s a fine actress and will do a great job whatever her race.” Yeah, okay, if you think she’s right for the part, fine. It’s the way she smugly insults her own fans that pisses me off.

      The flip side, too, is that apparently she’s claiming that she’s so bad at imagery in her writing we can’t even tell the color of a main character’s skin!

  5. Andrew says:

    Also worth noting that she is described in multiple places as having “mousey-brown” hair. Which marks her as “unremarkable british commoner”, as distinct from the red-haired Weasley family (which plays off various redhead stereotypes).

    In the movies, I thought young Emma Watson was a good casting choice for Hermione, in that she comes across as intelligent and bossy, but mildly pretty and otherwise physically unremarkable. As in the books, this draws attention to her intellect and personality rather than playing up physical or cultural features.

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