Not long ago, an article about Amazon’s tremendously expensive Lord of the Rings show made the rounds on the internet. “Amazon Studios confirms that their Middle Earth will include Elves of color,” it read.
The original headline was posted to an anonymous account on Twitter before migrating to message boards and other social media platforms, where it predictably divided fans along idealogical lines. You had your people who cried pandering…
In my opinion, it’s not the presence of the EoC (elves of color, that’s the PC word now, isn’t it?), it’s the reasons for such addition/change. That is the pandering. I wish more people on “the left” would consider that before calling everyone racist.
— Zaphod88 (@TheZaphod88) November 7, 2018
…your pithy comebacks…
Wow your childhood sounds super racist
— Louisa S. Pumpkins 🎃 🌈👭 (@LouisatheLast) November 7, 2018
…some incredibly aggressive readings of Tolkien’s original work…
That’s the point. Orcs are meant to represent Black men and Dwarves are meant to represent the Jewish. Sadly, Tolkien was another racist white dude. Talented, and capable of greatness, but still racist.
— sydney whyte (@sydney_jolie) November 8, 2018
…and the old, “I’m not racist, but it violates canon” argument:
I don’t get why make elves of color, not like there exists already a canonical species that can be of any color, make black human characters, don’t go against the effing canon
— Lil’ Al (@Aliscano97) November 8, 2018
The twist is that the headline isn’t real, and the author, Dan Arad, doesn’t seem to exist. This is according to The Daily Dot, which did some sleuthing after this headline went (predictably, depressingly) viral. Whoever created this likely did it for attention or to enjoy watching people yell at each other, which…well, mission accomplished.
As for the actual Lord of the Rings show, Amazon hasn’t said much about it. We know it’ll cost Amazon around $500 million for the first two seasons, that it might be about Young Aragorn, that Star Trek: Beyond writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay are on the creative team, and that Peter Jackson will not be involved. We’ve heard nothing about the casting, but there’s a good chance it’ll include people of all races and we’re sure our childhoods will be just fine.