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The Witcher Ciri Casting Backlash Causes Showrunner to Quit Twitter

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Earlier in the week it was announced that the upcoming Netflix show The Witcher, based on the books, was planning to cast a Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) actress in the major role of Ciri. And wouldn’t you know … people were upset. Surprise, surprise. Even more of a “surprise” was the backlash towards that has led to the showrunner, Lauren S. Hissrich, taking a hiatus from Twitter according to Digital Spy.

I wish, I wish, with all my heart, that I could be astonished by racism on the internet. Are you shocked? I’m not shocked. This is par for the course. I mean they are taking the iconic character of Ciri and making her Asian. Liberal and race-bending agenda am I right? It would be almost boring if not for the fact that these actions have repercussions that are much larger than dealing with some assholes online.

For those unfamiliar with the world of The Witcher, what is the issue? The Witcher started off as a series of books (1993-2013) by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski where “witchers” hunt supernatural creatures/monsters and the series follows the witcher Geralt of Rivia. The series has been turned into a film, a television series, video games, and a graphic novel series.

The character of Ciri a princess and the adoptive daughter of Geralt and his soul-mate Yennefer. Ciri had ash-grey hair and green eyes which are family traits and therefore this change is a BIG DEAL because it would mean having to cast her biological family along those same lines. Which, you know, perish the thought.

Hissrich has also clarified that this kind of change would not ruin or alter the world that the original books created: “Mr. Sapkowski has said — publicly, and to me — that the Continent is big and diverse in its population, in every way (race, culture, gender, and yes, occasionally skin color, which he said he did not always specify). I’m not sure how people insinuate I’m destroying the books by recognizing that. I’m honoring the author’s own intentions. He told me so himself.”

Still, people have made their displeasure known and will stoop to racist tweets memes in order to make their point.

Whenever it comes to adaptation changes like this, as I’ve made it clear from many posts, I find it to be a double-edged sword. Representation on screen, yay! A constant stream of hate put onto an actress for taking a role, boo! It’s an exhausting catch-22. For the once in a blue moon Will Smith in Wild Wild West and Idris Elba in The Dark Tower, there is every single other time. It’s exhausting and it doesn’t help anyone.

Look, as someone who deeply resents Amy Adams being a redhaired Lois Lane in the DCEU, I understand wanting to characters to look a certain way that we’re used to picturing them. However, as someone who also understands the importance of diversity, I can understand how this casting change is bigger than getting hair wrong. (But Amy Adams you white and so is Lois so put a wig on).

All I can say is that moving forward, I hope that the young woman who gets cast as Ciri will have people in her corner who will have her back. And she should have social media people who will prepare her for harassment. Because it’s going to happen.

(via Digital Spy, image: Atari)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.