By Melissa Chan
June 5, 2016

J.K. Rowling won’t let “a bunch of racists” bother her or stop her from supporting a black actress who was cast to play Hermione in the London theater production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, she said in a new interview.

The Harry Potter author addressed the criticism surrounding the selection of British actress Noma Dumezweni for the role of the brainy Hermione Granger, who was portrayed by Emma Watson for eight films.

“I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ — that is, lost color from her face after a shock — that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling told The Observer. “But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

Rowling also called Dumezweni the “best actress for the job.” She has previously said Hermione’s race was never described in the books.

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