Elijah Wood joins Lord of the Rings co-stars to protest racist backlash against new Amazon series

Elijah Wood and his co-stars from the Lord of the Rings films have jointly responded to the online backlash to the diverse casting on the Amazon series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

The new prequel series, set thousands of years before director Peter Jackson’s trilogy of films, includes performers from many different races, in contrast to the all-white cast in earlier depictions of the fictional Middle Earth. Black British actor Lenny Henry, for example, appears in the series as a hobbit.

Whoopi Goldberg and author Neil Gaiman are among the celebrities to have already spoken out about the backlash.

Now, Wood and several co-stars, including Sean Astin (Samwise Gamgee), Billy Boyd (Pippin Took), and Dominic Monaghan (Merry Brandybuck), have posted their support on social media. In the images, the actors are wearing hats and t-shirts emblazoned with elfin ears in various shapes and skin tones.

Alongside the photo, Wood posted the message, “You Are All Welcome Here” – the English translation of the Elvish writing marked on the t-shirts.

Separately, Sean Astin supported the campaign with a hat emblazoned with the same slogan in a Twitter post mentioning his co-stars.

The pro-inclusivity merchandise was designed by Lord of the Rings TikTok star Don Marshall, who has pledged to donate half the proceeds to a charity that supports people of colour.