Percy Jackson novelist Rick Riordan recently asserted that the upcoming Disney+ show race replaced Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood so that “everyone could look at this series and see themselves.”
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly to promote the upcoming Disney+ series, Riordan explained why he decided to make the cast for the show more diverse.
First, he used his son as a shield, “He was struggling with dyslexia and ADHD, having a terrible time in school, but the one thing he did love was Greek mythology. As a classroom teacher myself, I knew a great deal about Greek mythology. I loved teaching it. So I started telling him stories from the Greek myths and, when I ran out of the old stuff, I made up a new Greek hero: A modern-day kid named Percy Jackson who, like my son, has ADHD and dyslexia and finds out that those are indicators that you may well be a demigod. My son had no trouble believing that.”
He continued, “20 years on, it was important that I looked at it again with fresh eyes and made sure that the story was speaking to all kids, and that everyone could look at this series and see themselves. It is inclusive enough that everyone can be a hero — after all, that’s why I wrote the book in the first place.”
“My son, because of learning differences, was feeling like an outsider and this was my way of saying, ‘It’s okay. Difference is a strength. You’re gonna be just fine. And you belong in this world,” he concluded.
This entire narrative does not pass the sniff test. If Riordan truly wanted everyone to be represented via race all of the characters would need to be shapeshifters like the X-Men’s Mystique; otherwise, not everyone would be represented. White girls are no longer represented through Annabeth Chase. None of the main characters are black males. Where’s their representation? How can anyone truly be represented if they did not cast actors that look exactly like everyone?
It’s a whole lot of gobbledygook when you actually examine artificial comments like the ones Riordan made.
On top of this his own wife already blew up this narrative back in July. Riordan’s wife Becky Riordan shared that the reason Annabeth was white in the first place was due to publishing standards in 2002.
She wrote on X, “Does it help to know that when those characters where created in 2002 the expectation in publishing was a white default? Annabeth’s perceived whiteness in the books is a default. Skin color or hair color is not meaningful to their character.”
Next, she made it clear that her husband’s explanation that the characters needed to be race replaced for people to feel represented is complete bogus.
She wrote that readers had no problem relating to the character the way they were originally written, “One of the reasons I love this fandom so much is because they could see beyond the mainstream expectations and see themselves. The character belong to all of the fans not just the white fans.”
Not only did Riordan’s wife completely undermine his claim to Entertainment Weekly, but anyone who’s been following Hollywood knows all of the major studios including The Walt Disney Company have casting quotas for their shows and movies.
In fact on the company’s Reimagine Tomorrow website they proudly proclaimed, “By 2022, 50% of regular and recurring characters across Disney General Entertainment scripted content will come from underrepresented groups.”
They have since removed that from the website and replaced it with the following statement, “We are committed to inspiring a more inclusive world by reimagining the way we tell stories and who tells them. Our intention is to broaden access and diversity in our industry by adopting inclusion standards across Disney General Entertainment* and live-action Studio productions by the end of 2022, with the goal of advancing representation in front of and behind the camera, in marketing and more.”
They then link to their Inclusion Standards at ABC Entertainment, which state that 50% or more of regular and recurring written characters come from Underrepresented Groups and 50% or more of regular and recurring actors come from Underrepresented Groups.”
On top of these quotas, casting directors have begun openly admitting they are race replacing and gender replacing characters for ideological purposes.
One example is The Witcher casting director Sophie Holland who explained how she intends to manipulate audiences through casting, “You can affect change in whatever tiny way because you are in people’s homes and they’re watching this world. And that sort of solidified when I had a child, she’s five now, and I thought how hard it is to be a girl.”
She elaborated, “I remember thinking I have to help her because she’s going to come under attack, just like I did, just because she’s a girl,” Holland elaborated. “Maybe she’ll be lucky and get to nine before somebody calls her a b***h. And it made me so sad that she was going to experience that and I couldn’t protect her from that.”
“But what I could do is change the way people see women through casting. I can make them powerful and empowering and then the floodgates will open to them,” Holland asserted.
She then revealed she does this for every show she works on, “I do apply this theory to everything and it makes me push boundaries a little harder because I think representation is important. Not just for women, but all minority groups.”
“Like, people have different physical abilities and I think it’s important they’re seen in strong and fierce roles. Realizing this was a real moment of falling in love with my craft in a way that feels very specific to me,” she said.
While Holland admits she’s trying to manipulate people through the casting process, Emily Goldstein at Thought Catalog back in 2015 explained what the whole diversity ideology is really about.
She wrote, “Diversity IS about getting rid of white people, and that’s a good thing. … I’m extremely glad that the white race is dying, and you should be too. White people do not have a right to exist. Period. That may sound like a bold statement, but it’s entirely true. Any white person with even the faintest knowledge of history should curse themselves every single day for being white.”
Goldstein elaborated, “Whiteness is the ocean from which racism flows. Get rid of whiteness and you get rid of racism. Despite what white supremacists often claim, white people do not have a ‘culture’. White ‘culture’ consists of nothing more than oppression, genocide, and the disenfranchisement of minorities. White ‘culture’ is racism and nothing more.”
She concluded, “Diversity is indeed white genocide. And white genocide is exactly what the world needs more than anything else.”
What do you make of Riordan’s comments?