ByA.j. Figueroa, writer at

This week, we got a chance to meet the cast of the new Harry Potter play, 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child'. And, as with every other major change in movies, people have issues with the casting of a black woman to play Hermione. I can't help to ask myself (and society as a whole) why is that?

Does it really change the story or character by casting an actor or actress that's black/Spanish/etc.? For example, the biggest news was people attempting to boycott the new Star Wars because the main lead was black. Why is this a problem? John Boyega was the best part of Star Wars (and if you haven't seen it, finish reading this and go see it now). He was charismatic, charming and funny. He was the most relatable and honestly, it didn't matter what his skin tone was. So why make it matter? The only time it should matter is when a movie is made about famous people from the past.

This issue reminds me of another issue I once encountered on Facebook, many months ago. The show 'Tut' was being promoted and while people had a low expectations, I was angry at the choices they made for the cast. All royals was castes as white actors/actresses, while most (if not all) slaves were casted by black actors. Is it not a problem that Hollywood chooses to white wash history? In fact, isn't it more of a problem of choosing a white man to play a black pharaoh, who existed at one point, than it is for a black man to play a fictional character who doesn't exist? Of course, I'm referring to people having issues of Micheal B. Jordan to play Johnny Storm and Idris Elba possibly playing James Bond. This racial debate in cinema needs to stop.

The quality of a fictional character does not get diminish by the actor or actress's skin tone who is portraying him/her.

If you can't understand what I'm trying to say, then picture this: imagine watching a biopic of George Washington and they choose a miority, the outrage most would have. Now take that same outrage and apply it to the fact that we have too many historical movie errors, beginning with casting.

'Cleopatra', an old movie from around 50s or 60s (I forget which) had a white woman play Cleopatra. Some may argue that was a different time, no it still exists. 'Tut' is a clear example of that.

In my opinion, I don't care who plays who in a fictional movie. I'm not looking at that. I'm looking for a three dimensional character who I can love or hate. Instead of focusing on one's ethnicity, focus on the quality of the movie you are watching.

And believe me when I tell you, John Boyega steals every scene he is in, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

And keep this in mind, while either disagreeing or agreeing, this new Harry Potter play isn't a sequel to the movies. It's a sequel to the book. Though this original story was written by J.K. Rowling herself, the actual play is based on that story. In other words, this is a playwrite's version of Harry Potter, his own universe. His point of view of the Harry Potter world.

So judge not an actor playing a fictional character by his skin, but by the quality of the character he is portraying.


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