Elijah Wood and ‘Lord of the Rings’ Cast Champion Diversity in Middle-earth Amid Racist ‘Rings of Power’ Backlash: ‘You Are All Welcome Here’

·2-min read

The Lord of the Rings” cast members Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan banded together on social media to support the diverse casting in Amazon’s new series “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.” The series, which launched its first two episodes on Sept. 2 to critical acclaim and 25 million global viewers, has come under fire by racist fans upset by the casting of actors of color in prominent roles. Wood, Boyd and Monaghan posed for a photo wearing t-shirts that features the ears of Middle-earth creatures in various skin tones.

“You are all welcome,” Wood’s caption reads.

More from Variety

Sean Astin posted his own photo to his Twitter page in which he wore a hat with the same design on it.

The message is clear: Wood, Boyd , Astin and Monaghan stand by Middle-earth welcoming diversity just as “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” depicts. Wood included a link to an online store where fans can purchase their own t-shirts with the design on it. The store is also selling a sweatshirt and more clothing items with the same graphic. The shirt as seen in the photo is selling for $22.00. Per the online shop: “50% of all proceeds will go to a charity that supports POC.”

“The Rings of Power” debuted shortly after the premiere of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragon,” which also came under fire from racist fans for spotlighting actors of color. Several prominent Hollywood figures have railed against the racist backlash, including Whoopi Goldberg.

“They don’t exist in the real world,” Goldberg said of the two series during an episode of “The View.” “You know that? There are no dragons. There are no hobbits. Are you telling me Black people can’t be fake people too? Is that what you’re telling me? I don’t know if there’s like a hobbit club, I don’t know if there are gonna be protests, but people! What is wrong with y’all?”

Goldberg later added, “All of y’all who have problems because there are Black hobbits… Get a job! Get a job! Go find yourself, because you are focused on the wrong stuff.”

Check out Wood and Astin’s post below.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.