Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher books has been big news recently, especially with the lead being cast. As previously reported by Inquisitr, Henry Cavill is putting away his Superman suit and picking up a silver sword, and many fans are dismayed by the decision.
However, Cavill’s role as Geralt is not the straw that will break many fans’ backs — a non-white Ciri might be the weight they cannot bear.
Because The Witcher series draws heavily from Polish folklore, most of the original cast was racially white. That included Ciri, Geralt and Yennefer’s adopted daughter and a member of the main cast. Her story is tightly intertwined with the protagonist’s, making her a vital part of the series as a whole.
She is a well-loved character, and many fans are not pleased that the showrunner is calling for a non-white Ciri. According to Comic Book, the casting call reads as follows.
“[We are calling] for a 16 or 15 year old BAME (black, Asian, minority ethnic) girl who can play down to 13/14. We are looking for an extraordinary young talent to lead this series. She should be brave-hearted and MUST have something truly special about her.”
The ad also hints that Ciri will be at the forefront of the show, taking a leading role alongside Geralt. As expected, fans weren’t pleased with that, either.
— Paul Tassi (@PaulTassi) September 9, 2018
This decision comes after frequent talks about making the story a more diverse and inclusive one. While this will definitely set the show apart from its predecessors in the franchise, a rather toxic part of the fandom has risen up to battle the “forced diversity.”
As reported by Forbes, the series’ original author, Andrzej Sapkowski, has no problem with minorities being represented in his universe. Despite this, many fans have taken serious offense to the changes made to Ciri’s character design.
While there is a good portion of the fanbase that is opposed to the casting call, there is a number of people that approve of the idea — in theory. The actress’s safety is the issue for many these people.
The show’s female showrunner, Lauren Hissrich, has been the receiving end of some serious vitriol and hatred, and this anger could very well be re-directed at the young actress chosen for Ciri’s role.
Grown women like Kelly Marie Tran and Leslie Jones have been harassed off social media because of toxic fans, and we can only hope Ciri’s new actress will be adequately prepared and protected from the abuse.