Actress Leah Jeffries was cast to play Annabeth Chase in the Disney+ adaptation of Rick Riordan’s beloved novels. In the books, Chase is described as White, and some fans have criticized Jeffries’ casting for not visually matching the books.
“You judge her suitability for this role solely and solely by her appearance. She is a black girl playing someone who was described as white in the books,” he wrote. “Friends, that’s racism.”
Since the casting announcement was revealed last week, Riordan said Jeffries has been on the receiving end of racist bullying and other online harassment. In his post, Riordan called these comments “out of line” and demanded that they stop. Still, most of the response to the casting announcement has been positive, he said.
“Leah brings so much energy and enthusiasm to this role, so much of Annabeth’s strength. She will be a role model for new generations of girls who will see in her the kind of hero they want to be,” he wrote.
“Percy Jackson and the Olympians” is a series of middle-class novels first published in 2005 that follows a neurodivergent child who discovers he is the son of Poseidon, the Greek god. Disney has released two movies based on the series — “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” in 2010 and “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” in 2013. A premiere date for the Disney+ series has yet to be announced. .