Hollywood Shows Support for 'LOTR:' 'The Rings of Power' Star Ismael Cruz Córdova After Racist Attacks

Celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg and the original Lord of the Rings cast have since shown support for the fantasy show's diverse cast

Ismael Cruz Córdova (Arondir), The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power
Photo: Ben Rothstein/Prime Video

Ismael Cruz Córdova recently made history by being the first Latino elf to grace the Lord of the Rings saga in Prime Video's Tolkien-based prequel, The Rings of Power.

While it's a role he's dreamed of playing since childhood, not everyone has been supportive of the 35-year-old actor as he's been plagued by racist messaging from internet users.

The Rings of Power notably added more diversity in both race and gender to the series, but there have been attacks from certain Lord of the Rings superfans who claim that the castings won't represent the original characters or the "source material."

In addition to Córdova, who plays Silvan elf Arondir, costar Sophia Nomvete, who plays Princess Disa the dwarf, also received her fair share of internet attacks.

After the cast members became targets of hateful messaging, members of the Hollywood community began speaking out against the racist remarks.

On a Sept. 6 episode of The View, moderator Whoopi Goldberg called fans out for not accepting Black actors as a part of their fantasy shows.

"They don't exist in the real world," Goldberg, 66, said. "You know that, there are no dragons. There are no hobbits. And there are critics that are saying they were 'too woke' by adding diverse characters. Are you telling me Black people can't be fake people too? Is that what you're telling me?"

"I don't know if there's like, a hobbit club, I don't know if there are gonna be protests, but people! What is wrong with y'all?"

Goldberg later added, "We would like to see as many people represented in fantasy as exist. All of y'all who have problems because there are Black hobbits, get a job! Get a job! Go find yourself, because you are focused on the wrong stuff."

One day later, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd — the four actors known for playing the Hobbits Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippin in the original Lord of the Rings film trilogy — expressed their support for the cast of the new show on social media.

In posts on Twitter, the foursome snapped a photo wearing a shirt, made by TikToker Don Marshall, in collaboration with user @WizardWayKris, that read in Elvish: "You all are welcome here."

The shirt also featured illustrations of the ears of several characters in a spectrum of skin tones.

That same day, The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power issued a statement on Twitter, also condemning the racist remarks.

"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. We refuse to ignore it or tolerate it," the statement read.

"J.R.R. 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," the statement continued. "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."

"Finally, all our love and fellowship go out to the fans supporting us, especially fans of colour who are themselves being attacked simply for existing in this fandom," it continued. "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. You are valid, you are loved, and you belong. You are an integral part of the LOTR family — thanks for having our backs."

The post ended with the word "Namárië," a word of Tolkien's invented Elvish language used in the books, movies and TV shows that means "be well."

The Star Wars franchise, another subject of racist attacks from fans complaining about BIPOC casting, also tweeted in support of The Rings of Power.

"From Middle-earth to a galaxy far, far away... #YouAreAllWelcomeHere," the franchise's Twitter account wrote.

Additionally, Rings of Power producer Lindsey Weber shut down complaints that the castings won't represent the original characters, telling TIME in a recent interview: "We're all up for criticism," she said. "We're not up for racism."

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Córdova previously spoke about the impact of becoming the first Latino elf to grace the Lord of the Rings saga in the same interview as Weber.

"I didn't see myself represented," he told TIME of growing up in the mountains of Puerto Rico. "And when I said, 'I want to be an elf,' people said, 'Elves don't look like you.'"

He added, "When I heard about the character on the show it felt like a mission."

The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power is now streaming on Prime Video.

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