Casting Agent Fired For Seeking Hobbits With ‘Light Skin Tones’

by  in Movie News Comment
Casting Agent Fired For Seeking Hobbits With ‘Light Skin Tones’

Just as it appeared that the worst of The Hobbit‘s troubles were behind it, Peter Jackson’s two-part adaptation has become entangled in a racial controversy.

Agence France-Presse reports a casting agent has been fired after placing a newspaper ad for extras with “light skin tones” and for telling a prospective performer that she was too dark to play one of the residents of the Shire.

The issue came to light after Naz Humphreys, a British actress with Pakistani heritage, said she waited in line last week for three hours at a casting session in Hamilton, New Zealand, only to be told her skin tone was not right for a hobbit. The Waikato Times reported that video from the session showed the casting agent telling would-be extras that, “We are looking for light-skinned people. I’m not trying to be — whatever. It’s just the brief. You’ve got to look like a hobbit.”

A spokesman for Jackson’s Wingnut Films emphasized that the agent wasn’t given any such race restrictions, and “it’s not something we instructed or condoned.”