Lord Of The Rings franchise stars condemn racist backlash to new Amazon series

Stars of the Lord Of The Rings franchise have condemned the “relentless” racist abuse and harassment suffered by cast members of Amazon’s recent Rings Of Power series.

Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd and Dominic Monoghan, who played the famous Hobbit quartet in the original trilogy, all shared posts of solidarity online with the caption “You Are All Welcome Here”.

It comes after actors from the latest series, which premiered last week on the streaming giant, were subject to racist comments over the decision to cast people of colour in the roles of elves, dwarves and Harfoots, among other fictional races.

Writing on Twitter, Wood and Astin both shared pictures of themselves wearing clothing featuring images of pointed ears of different colours.

The articles also bore lettering reading “You Are All Welcome Here”, written in the Elvish language.

In a joint statement also posted online, cast members of the Amazon series said they “refused to ignore or tolerate” the abuse.

“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 are being subjected to on a daily basis,” the statement read.

“We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it.

“JRR Tolkien created a world which, by definition, is multi-cultural.

“A world in which free peoples from different races and cultures join together, in fellowship, to defeat the forces of evil. Rings of Power reflects that.

“Our world has never been all white, fantasy has never been all white, Middle-earth is not all white. BIPOC belong in Middle-earth and they are here to stay.”

The statement thanked fans of colour for their “love and fellowship” who had also received abuse.

“We see you, your bravery, and endless creativity. Your cosplays, fancams, fan art, and insights make this community a richer place and remind us of our purpose,” it continued.

“You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family — thanks for having our backs.”

Lord Of The Rings: Rings Of Power premiered on Amazon Prime on September 2.

Its cast members feature actors of colour including Sir Lenny Henry, Sophia Nomvete and Ismael Cruz Cordova.