Novelist Rick Riordan, recently announced that the Disney+ “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” show that is under production has cast its Zeus and Poseidon.
Black actor Lance Reddick will portray Zeus. Reddick is a great actor, striking in appearance with the kind of memorable voice that calls James Earl Jones to mind.
This will likely mean little to those who have already criticized the new show for “race-bending” the characters of Grover and Annabeth Chase.
Race bending involves changing white characters into characters from African, Latin American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Indigenous backgrounds. Things got so bad that Riordan had to personally defend Leah Sova Jeffries, the actor cast to play Annabeth.
Recent controversies over race bending have not been limited to teenage demigods, though.
Amazon’s “The Rings of Power” generated backlash over including Black and Brown hobbits and elves into Tolkien’s canonically white world.
Middle Earth has some darker-skinned peoples, but they are restricted to villain roles. People upset about Black hobbits seem to have little to say about the colorism in Tolkien’s work.