Cast members of the original "Lord of the Rings" have joined Amazon Studios in condemning online trolls after many Black and people of color who play roles in the new "Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power” were inundated with bigoted remarks.
The show, which debuted on Amazon Prime on Sept. 1, has for months been the subject of smears surrounding the studio's decision to make Middle Earth more diverse in the prequel series. Some conservatives have called the show "too woke." Elon Musk was recently slammed for his critique of the show after he tweeted "Tolkien is turning in his grave."
Ismael Cruz Córdova, who is Afro Puerto Rican, and Sophia Nomvete, who is South African and Iranian, have been the subject of much of the racist vitriol. The two have been outspoken about their roles as Elven warrior Arondir, and Princess Disa, the first Black dwarf, respectively.
In a statement posted to Twitter on Wednesday, the cast of the new show pledged to "stand together in absolute solidarity and against the relentless racism, threats, harassment, and abuse some of our castmates of color are being subject to on a daily basis."
“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.”
Some cast members of Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy also showed their support.
Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins, Sean Astin, who played Samwise Gamgee, Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck, and Billy Boyd, who played Peregrin “Pippin” Took, posted a photo to their respective social media pages of the group wearing clothing with different ears belonging to different races in Middle Earth.
The Elvish text on the clothing reads, “You are all welcome here.”
Córdova responded to their tweet, writing, "We belong in Middle-earth." Wood replied: "you certainly do" with a heart emoji.
Amazon Studios and the series producers have said they are proud of their casting decisions.
“It felt only natural to us that an adaptation of Tolkien’s work would reflect what the world actually looks like,” Lindsey Weber, executive producer of the series, told Vanity Fair in February. “Tolkien is for everyone.”
"We welcome discussion and even criticism around the series," Jennifer Salke, the head of Amazon Studios, told the Los Angeles Times. "However, we will not condone racism of any kind."
NBC News has reached out to Amazon Studios for comment.
The show attracted more than 25 million global viewers on its first day, marking Prime Video’s biggest premiere ever, Amazon said in a news release.
Amazon recently disabled audience comments on its website for "Rings" after suspicions that the show was being "review-bombed." Review-bombing is when bad actors deliberately give a piece of media negative reviews en masse due to a personal grudge against the entity.
On Saturday, Amazon said it would put a three-day pause on allowing reviews of the show to assess whether the series was being targeted, according to The Verge.
"Rings" is not the first show to have to face racists attacks after diversifying casting.
Disney's "Star Wars" franchise recently spoke out after "Obi-Wan Kenobi" actor, Moses Ingram, faced racist attacks online.
In response to the statements put out by "Rings," the "Star Wars" Twitter account responded: "From Middle-earth to a galaxy far, far away... #YouAreAllWelcomeHere."