Cast members of the original The Lord of the Rings trilogy stepped up publicly to show their support for the BIPOC cast of the streaming series The Rings of Power. Since premiering on Prime Video, actors have been fending off racist attacks online about the casting of non-white actors into the franchise. They argue the casting is at odds with The Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien’s original novels.
On Wednesday (September 7), actors Elijah Wood, Billy Boyd, and Dominic Monaghan, who all played Hobbits in the original films, took to social media to defend actors like Ismael Cruz Córdova, who are getting much of the hateful rhetoric thrown their way and to advocate for more inclusion in Middle Earth.
“You are all welcome here,” Wood tweeted. The photo of Wood, Boyd, and Monaghan shows them dressed in matching shirts that feature the ears of several creatures with different skin tones.
Córdova responded online to the support from the trio. “Much love,” he tweeted alongside emojis of a heart, power fist, and an elf. In the series, Córdova plays an elf named Arondir.
Actor Sean Astin, who also played a Hobbit in the original trilogy, also tweeted a message with the same sentiment. In his photo, Astin is wearing a hat with the same image as the shirt. “You are all welcome here,” he wrote.
The official Rings of Power Twitter account released a statement later that same day. “We, the cast of Rings of Power, stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color being subjected to on a daily basis,” reads part of the message. “We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.”
To purchase a “You Are All Welcome” shirt or other merchandise, visit this online store. Half of the proceeds will be donated to a charity that supports BIPOCs.