Leah Sava Jeffries, set to portray Annabeth Chase in 'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' TV show, has dealt with massive hate online after being cast – mainly due to her not looking like the book description of her character.
Rick Riordan, the author of the Percy Jackson series, has weighed in on heated debates that unfold online over casting Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth Chase. According to Riordan, those who took issue with Jeffries' casting are being "racist" as they demand a more book-accurate portrayal of Annabeth.
"You are judging her appropriateness for this role solely and exclusively on how she looks. She is a Black girl playing someone who was described in the books as white," Riordan stated on his blog. "Friends, that is racism."
But Percy Jackson fans, who have a long history of decrying the far-from-accurate casting for screen adaptations of the book series, beg to differ.
One of the users noted that if Riordan cares this much about diversity, he should have made one of the main characters black in his own books in the first place.
Funnily enough, the 2012 movie also had fans outraged about the casting – and guess what character got under fire back at the time. Yes, it was Annabeth, who was then portrayed by Alexandra Daddario. And despite her being white, she did not have blonde hair and, like the rest of the cast, was much older than the book version of the characters – which predictably angered fan as well.
However, many fans think that there's no use arguing with the author of the series – the one who actually wrote the books and created the characters.
'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' is set to hit screens at some point in 2023, with the rest of the cast yet to be announced.