Lenny Henry – 'men in pants eating Hobnobs' won't decide on diversity

Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star Sir Lenny Henry hits back at racist trolls who criticised casting black actors and says ‘it’s not for some man eating Hobnobs in his panties’ to decide who can appear on screen

  • Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Sir Lenny Henry hit back at racist trolls
  • The actor appears in the blockbuster TV series, which has come under fire 
  • Sir Lenny said it’s ‘not up to some man sitting in his panties’ to say who can act
  • Added the lack of diversity in the original series didn’t put him off appearing 

Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star Sir Lenny Henry has hit back at racist trolls who have criticised the decision to cast black actors in the new Amazon series. 

The actor, who plays Saddoc Burrows in the blockbuster TV series, said it is ‘not up to some man eating Hobnobs in his panties to say mean things behind people’s backs and upload it’. 

He reflected on the lack of racial diversity in the original Lord Of The Rings films but said it did not put him off wanting to be part of the new series. 

Speaking on GMB this morning, he said: ‘Even though the films were more white, it didn’t stop me loving it and wanting to be in this.

Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power star Sir Lenny Henry, pictured on This Morning, has hit back at racist trolls who have criticised the decision to cast black actors in the new Amazon series 

Sir Lenny reflected on the lack of racial diversity in the original Lord Of The Rings films but said it did not put him off wanting to be part of the new series

‘What’s wonderful these days is there has been a gradual change. Kids thought they couldn’t be in it before and it’s an exciting time.

‘We are now seeing more people in important roles in front of the camera. They can see themselves as “we can be in it” kids can say, “I want to be a Harfoot or an elf”

‘Not everyone likes change but tough.’ 

The Rings of Power features a number of actors of color in primary roles, including Ismael Cruz Cordova as the elf Arondir, dwarf Sophia Nomvete as the dwarf Princess Disa and Nazanin Boniadi as the human Bronwyn.

There has been speculation that racist trolls have been ‘review-bombing’ the show in the audience ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, with several of the cast members of color getting hateful messages.

The hosts discussed the backlash online about black characters in The Rings of Power, but Lenny clapped back saying that ‘it’s not up to some bloke in his panties eating Hobnobs’ the creatives will win on this

Original Lord Of The Rings cast members Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd took to social media on Wednesday, showcasing new hats and t-shirts with a powerful message written in the Elvish language Neo-Sindarin, which translates to, ‘You Are All Welcome Here.’ 

Actor Whoopi Goldberg slammed racist fantasy fans who have trolled black actors cast in The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings of Power.

The Sister Act star told trolls to ‘get a job’ as she trashed them for accepting ‘dragons and hobbits’ but not black actors being cast in the shows, speaking on US talk show The View. 

Lenny, commenting on the backlash and Whoopi’s support, said: ‘Yes Whoop spoke about it, but everyone wants to be in a fantasy world everyone wants to have wings or laser beams shooting from their eyes.

Lenny Henry plays a Harfoot called Saddoc Burrows,which is like a Hobbit in the new series The Rings Of Power

‘We all deserve to be in that world if we want to be.  It’s not up to some man eating Hobnobs in his panties to say mean things behind people’s backs and upload it.

‘The creatives will win on this – people who are thinking about this on a human level.’

Lenny has released his new memoirs Rising to The Surface, which he says features both his mother and Dawn French and covers 1980 to the year 2000 – he described his book as a ‘rollercoaster’. 

He also spoke of his desire to have more diversity behind the camera in his production company.  

He said: ‘As I went on in the business and I didn’t see black costume designers or makeup ladies, directors… this was the world I loved and I endured it and kept waiting for it to happen and it didn’t. 

‘As I started my own production company I said it would be really cool if we had more diversity. More brown, more black people.

‘The production manager said “yes”. As it was my production company I made it happen, change has to come from the top.  I just said it would be really cool I didn’t say it has to happen. It came from the top and if people want change it has to come from the top. We started doing things like funky black shorts and it was great.’ 

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