“House of the Dragon” star Steve Toussaint has spoken about the racist reaction he faced after getting a role in the upcoming HBO spin-off “Game of Thrones.”
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The 57-year-old “Judge Dredd” actor will play the first black protagonist of the franchise, Coris Velarion, in the prequel series, which will premiere on Sunday, August 21. The media, when it was announced,” said the British—born The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Monday, August 15. “Yeah, that shit happened.”
After his casting was announced in February 2021, Toussaint recalled that a social media user had shared an image of Corlis made by the artist and expressed disappointment that he had been chosen for the role. “Then someone else called me the N—word,” the Doctor Who graduate added. “There was also a black American who is a big fan of the show who contacted me and said he was being abused because he was protecting me for this role.”
Toussaint was surprised by the racist comment, but explained that he tried not to let it affect him. “On platforms like Reddit, which I am not a member of, there are such discussions about this,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh wow,’ and then I thought: “Well, it means a lot to some people, but I can’t let it bother me.”
The “Prince of Persia” star is not the first actor of color to say that he has faced racist insults from alleged fans of sci-fi and fantasy series. John Boyega, who played Finn in the latest Star Wars trilogy, has openly stated that racist trolls have reduced his experience of participating in films. The 30-year-old Attack the Block star also believes that racism was one of the reasons his character was sidelined as the films progressed.
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“They want you to say, ‘I enjoyed being a part of this. It was a great experience.” No, no, no,” the London native told British GQ in September 2020. “I’ll take this deal when it’s a great experience. They gave all the nuances to Adam Driver, all the nuances of Daisy Ridley. Let’s be honest. Daisy knows that. Adam knows that. Everyone knows. I’m not divulging anything.”
Earlier this year, Ewan McGregor criticized so-called “Star Wars” fans for sending hateful messages to Moses Ingram, who played Reva in the Disney+ series “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
“It looks like some fans from this influential fan base decided to attack Moses Ingram online and send her the most horrible, racist DM’s, Moulin Rouge!” the 51—year-old actor said in a video posted on Twitter in May. “I heard some of them this morning and it just broke my heart. I just felt sick in my stomach when I heard that this was happening. We support Moses, we love Moses. And if you’re sending her intimidating messages, I believe you’re not a Star Wars fan.
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Before the premiere of the show, the 28-year-old actress said that Lucasfilm management warned her that she would probably face harassment from racist “Star Wars” viewers. “It was something that Lucasfilm really envisioned and said: “This is something that, unfortunately, is likely to happen.” But we’re here to help you; you can let us know when that happens,” Ingram told The Independent in May.
Further, the graduate of the “Royal Gambit” noted that she “has no problems” with blocking social media users who send her racist messages, adding that she is glad that Obi-Wan Kenobi will “bring the greatest diversity” to the “Star Wars” universe.
“It’s long overdue for me,” she explained. “If you have talking droids and aliens, but no colored people, it doesn’t make any sense. 2022, you know. So, we are just at the beginning of these changes. But I think starting these changes is better than never starting them.”
The premiere of “House of the Dragon” will take place on HBO on Sunday, August 21, at 21:00 ET.