Hermione of the past, meet Hermione of the future.
Noma Dumezweni's casting as Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" caused a whole lot of controversy when it was first announced.
The stage show, set 19 years after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" caused a stir with Dumezweni's casting for one very frustrating reason: her race.
See, Dumezweni is black, and Emma Watson, who played the character in the film series, is white. For some fans, this departure from their expectation of what Hermione looks left them feeling a bit of dissonance.
J.K. Rowling even stepped in to say that yes, Hermione can be black.
She chimed in not just once, but on multiple occasions to basically tell fans that if they can accept a world filled with wizard and magic and death eaters, they should be able to imagine one of the series's characters not looking exactly like they originally imagined. It was pretty awesome, to be honest.
On July 7, Dumezweni got another ringing endorsement: Emma Watson.
So now that the woman who wrote Hermione AND the woman who played Hermione are on record in full support of Dumezweni, can we put this whole "controversy" to rest?
People of color have a hard enough time as it is finding roles on stage. Why would we want to take an opportunity like this away? As Leslie Odom, Jr., best known for playing Aaron Burr in "Hamilton," said in a recent Hollywood Reporter roundtable, there simply aren't a whole lot of roles written with minorities in mind.
In the U.S., on Broadway, about 80% of all roles are held by white actors — when compared to the percentage of white people as a total of the U.S. population, they're overrepresented on the stage.
Rowling has said that Dumezweni was simply the best actress for the part. Watson said meeting Dumezweni was like meeting her older self. Can we mark this "controversy" case closed?