Introduction of characters of color into Tolkien’s fantasy world has some fans complaining but as others point out, it’s not less authentic to cast Black actors

As the new Lord of the Rings series gears up for its September launch on Amazon, the company finds itself navigating treacherous, if familiar, waters and has already triggered a fierce debate over race by introducing characters of color into JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world.

The tech giant has spent a dragon’s dungeon of gold on adapting the beloved story famous for its cultish fans, some of whom are deeply enmeshed in the rightwing culture war industry. Yet it is fully aware its final product has to reach a broad and modern audience to justify its eye-popping expenditure.

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