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JK Rowling says 'bunch of racists' criticised Hermione casting in 'Harry Potter' play

'With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot,' Rowling says

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JK Rowling has revealed that she was questioned online by a "bunch of racists" after black actress Noma Dumezweni was cast as Hermione in her Harry Potter stage play.

The two-part play, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, is set 19 years after the final Harry Potter novel. It features new, older versions of Rowling's famous characters Harry, Ron and Hermione.

"With my experience of social media, I thought that idiots were going to idiot," Rowling told The Observer. "But what can you say? That's the way the world is. Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job."

Rowling added: "I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione 'turned white' – that is, lost colour from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm."

Harry Potter And The Cursed Child begins previews at London's Palace Theatre this week ahead of its official opening on July 30. Part one debuts tomorrow (June 7) and part two debuts on Thursday (June 9). Check out pictures of Noma Dumezweni and the rest of the cast in costume here.

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