The Witcher Ciri Casting Backlash Causes Showrunner to Quit Twitter
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.
It’s time for a Twitter hiatus. The love here is amazing, and the hate is enlightening, like a real-life Trial of the Grasses, except I HAVE to read less and write more — or we won’t have a damn finale. Be back soon with more insight and more Roach. Be nice to each other, okay?
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) September 10, 2018
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.”
— 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.
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) May 11, 2018
Still, people have made their displeasure known and will stoop to racist tweets memes in order to make their point.
I have no hate here at all but please recall this tweet you said in May – culture. Heritage. Ethnic make up. Story – I have such hopes for this show but don’t lose sight of these words you spoke pic.twitter.com/DNBQllO7Sd
— ♡ Hylian Keyblade Princess ♡ (@hylian_cece) September 11, 2018
Netflix reportedly looking for an Asian girl <18 to play Ciri. Wasn’t aware that major characters of Polish folklore were Asian. I went along with the complaints of whitewashing in other media, this should be no different. #Witcher #netflix
— Sam Tarloff (@Samwise47) September 8, 2018
As an Asian and a person who values diversity in all facets of life, I will lose my mind if the person casted as Ciri is not a white actress. #witcher #netflix
— JJ (@justinyoo13) September 8, 2018
— Pradheep (@pradheepx16) September 9, 2018
Please, cast actors who look like the characters in the books. I’ve spent hours imagining and seeing them loving each other, running, fighting monsters. If they don’t look as they should, they’ll be like total strangers reminding me of them. At most. That being said, can’t wait!
— Quentin Lhrmt (@QLhrmt) September 10, 2018
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).
Really disappointed in Witcher fans who read the books without registering the core theme that “people are the real monsters” and that there’s nothing more horrific and hypocritical than mob justice. https://t.co/GEPPKNgE3d
— Sasha Erfanian (@SashaErfanian) September 10, 2018
The animals of Twitter win again with their desperate need to find something to rant and complain about. They just gotta ruin everyone’s fun 😢 https://t.co/G1aaEJwi0b
— Jules (@juliaguthrie16) September 10, 2018
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)
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]