Yesterday was an exciting day for the Shadowhunter Chronicles fans because the actors who will be playing Isabelle Lightwood and Simon Lewis in ABC Family’s Shadowhunters were announced. Emeraude Toubia is our Isabelle and Alberto Rosende is portraying our Simon.
Reactions to their castings were mixed, to put it mildly, so Cassandra Clare took to her social media pages to let fans know her thoughts.
Cassie also tweeted Emeraude and Alberto:
From her tumblr:
I’ve seen their auditions. They were both terrific. Emeraude is beautiful and sweet and tough. Alberto is charming and nerdy and adorkable.
I kind of can’t believe how gorgeous everyone in this cast is! And they’re also sweet and enthusiastic. We are a lucky bunch, Shadowhunters. 🙂
Finally Cassandra wrote another tumblr post where she addressed the racism that had floated around on tumblr and twitter:
maggzee said: People are making racist remarks about the Hispanic actors portraying Simon and Isabelle in the TV series. How do you feel about the casting?
I am really happy about the casting.
I said this on twitter and I will say it here. The producers and network did approach me about how I would feel about “colorblind” casting — casting the best actors and actresses they could find, regardless of race. There were some actors and actresses of color that they were especially excited about looking into and they wanted to know if that would be an issue.
I said it wasn’t an issue for me. That I supported the idea, they’d have my unconditional backing, I would love to see diversity in the cast. That while the characters who are characters of color in the book (Magnus, Maia, Raphael) must remain as characters of color, and be cast that way, I had no such feelings about characters who were white or white-assumed.
There are a lot of white people on our movie and television screens, and in our books. You can find white people everywhere. They are overrepresented, not underrepresented. So while it is very important that, for instance, Maia be cast with a black actress because the fact that she is black is a significant part of her character, affecting the way she sees the world and is reacted to by a racist society (she talks about the difficulty of finding black dolls as a child, about growing up biracial in a conservative town), the idea that Isabelle is white is not a significant part of her character. (Many have argued that she is not necessarily white. I don’t want to undermine that idea since I never specified. Never thought about it — which is a function of my own privilege and something I’m working on.)
The actress cast for Izzy is fierce and fabulous. If she can represent for Latina and Hispanic girls, all the better. The actor cast for Simon is adorable. If he can represent for Latino and Hispanic boys, terrific. Many have asked if this affects Simon being Jewish: it does not. He is still Jewish. There are plenty of brown-skinned Jews. Quite a bit of my own family, in fact.
I don’t know how this will affect the casting of Alec. I hope they will pick the best actor, and they have shown this does not necessarily mean a white actor. I also do not know whether S&I will be Latin* in the show, whether that will be written in as part of their characters. I simply don’t know.
If you have a problem with POC being cast in these roles, well, you’ll have to take it up elsewhere. I am for it. I told the network that my fandom would be supportive; that they were diverse and awesome. I want you to live up to my description of you. Most of you already are. I believe the rest of you will.
There you have it. Let us show Cassie, the network and most importantly Emeraude and Alberto how supportive we really can be! Both are excited to be a part of Shadowhunters – check out their videos – so let us try and be excited with them 🙂
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