‘House of the Dragon’ Star Steve Toussaint Says Critics Who Question His Casting Are Only Bothered Because Character Is a ‘Rich Black Guy’

‘House of the Dragon’ Star Steve Toussaint Says Critics Who Question His Casting Are Only Bothered Because Character Is a ‘Rich Black Guy’

British star Steve Toussaint’s casting in HBO’s highly anticipated medieval fantasy television series “House of the Dragon” has ruffled the feathers of some viewers of shows based on the popular “A Song of Ice and Fire” novel series by author George R. R. Martin.

In a new interview with Men’s Health, Toussaint, who is Black and of Barbadian descent, addressed the issue some have taken with show creators Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik’s decision to swap out the pale-skinned and purple-eyed House Velaryon members for wealthy Black seafarers. The move came following the frequent criticism of its predecessor, “Game of Thrones,” for its lack of diversity.

Still, Toussaint doesn’t seem to be bothered by the attacks on his involvement, such as one left by one Twitter user who wrote, “White period pieces like this show lose authenticity when they insert characters of color in roles other than servants or slaves. Even as fiction it’s non-believable when you consider the savagery of those times. Plus he’s a darker-skinned actor. Come on doc!”

The actor told the lifestyle outlet, “They are happy with a dragon flying. They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale.” The 57-year-old’s calm attitude towards the incident may be accredited to the support he receives from fans and co-stars.

“What has been wonderful is for every toxic person that has somehow found their way into my timeline, there have been so many others who have been so supportive and been like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wait, this is going to be great,’” he continued. “Even when we were doing certain scenes, there would be supporting artists who would come up and go, ‘It’s great to have this representation.’”

While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Condal elaborated on the change, telling the outlet, “The world is very different now than it was 10 years ago when [Game of Thrones] all started. It’s different than 20 years ago when Peter Jackson made ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ These types of stories need to be more inclusive than they traditionally have been,”

He added, “It was very important for Miguel and I to create a show that was not another bunch of white people on the screen, just to put it very bluntly.”


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