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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Inga Parkel

Whoopi Goldberg denounces racist criticism of The Rings of Power and House of the Dragon over ‘woke’ casting

ABC The View/ Twitter screenshot

Whoopi Goldberg has hit out at racist critics who she says have “slammed” House of the Dragon and The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for their “woke” casting.

The new Amazon Prime Video Lord of the Rings series and HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel are currently among TV’s biggest hits, with the latter already shattering viewing records with its debut.

However, The View host took a moment to point out on Tuesday’s (6 September) episode that despite both shows being “massive hits”, they “don’t exist in the real world”.

“And there are critics who are saying, ‘They were too woke by adding diverse characters,’” Goldberg explained. “Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too?”

While the original LOTR films featured no Black characters, both series have worked to feature more racially diverse casts.

“I don’t know if there’s like a Hobbit club; I don’t know if there’s going to be protests. But people, what is wrong with y’all?” she asked.

Co-host Sunny Hostin responded: “Well their argument is that it betrays the source material.”

Steve Toussaint in ‘House of the Dragon' (HBO)

“They haven’t read the source material,” Goldberg interjected.

Hostin went on to praise House of the Dragon’s Steve Toussaint (Corlys Velaryon), before adding: “What I think is fascinating is [that] dragons are ok – fire breathing dragons – and people with white hair – that are born like that when they’re little – and violet eyes, but the Black people in it is just a bridge too far for these people.”

Hostin’s sentiments echo earlier remarks made by The Rings of Power’s Lenny Henry, who addressed scrutinising fantasy fans in a recent interview, saying: “God bless them.

“They have no trouble believing in a dragon, but they do have trouble believing that a Black person could be a member of the court. Or that a Black person could be a hobbit or an elf.”

The Rings of Power is available to watch on Prime Video, and House of the Dragon is streaming on HBO Max in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK.

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