Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is supposed to be for every one of all races to enjoy. Recently, however, JK Rowling was forced to field racist commentary from a racist fan who criticized the casting of black actress Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter play. The film version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stared a white actress, Emma Watson, some fans have argued that casting a white actress in Norma Dumezweni’s place would be more consistent with the Harry Potter films. Rowling has consistently defended the selection of the black actress to play the role of Granger in the film. In response to one fan’s comment that she should have found a good white actress, Rowling states, “We found the best actress and she is black. Bye bye now.”
The few racist comments that Rowling has received concerning the selection of a black actress has not hurt the play’s success. The play has been getting rave reviews during its previews in spite of some fans’ feelings about race and the casting of the play so far.
One reason that Rowling is fielding comments about the race of the actress that has been selected to play Granger is due to the fact that some fans feel that the race of Granger’s character was suggested in the book. These fans point to excerpts such as a line from the book in which Hermione turned white’ when she went into shock. Rowling has argued back, however, that the race of the character was never suggested in the book, thus an actress of any race could be a cast in the role. In fact, it is possible to argue from the description of Granger given in the Harry Potter books that brown eyes, fizzy hair’ suggests that the character could be black.