Lauren Hissrich has something to say about dealing with Twitter backlash.
The showrunner for Netflix's upcoming The Witcher series re-addressed fans' mixed reaction to the casting call for prominent character Ciri earlier today. When someone asked Hissrich how to "deal with the hate" within the fandom, Hissrich responded in a series of positivity-packed tweets.
Hi. Good question. I’d be lying to say it doesn’t impact me at times — I’m an actual human being! I’ve spent a year pouring my whole heart into this project, so when comments get personal and vicious, it can feel overwhelming.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) October 14, 2018
But — it’s not all hate. That’s important to know. https://t.co/zKB4Se7Fev
Hang in there. Have faith. Don’t let it break your heart. Just remember — nothing can take the excitement for this show away from me, or you.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) October 14, 2018
And with that — I’m off for a bit! Time to go make this thing!! ♥️⚔️🐺
The majority of comments are positive. Those that aren’t are civil, offering opinions, asking for dialogue, trying to understand decisions. (And they will! Nothing is arbitrary on this show.) Here’s the truth: real fans don’t make threats over a piece of news.— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) October 14, 2018
The Witcher, based on a series of both popular games and novels, was bound to draw differing opinions on casting, but the recent backlash came with a casting call for Ciri -- originally white with green eyes -- searching for minority actresses. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was only one of several casting calls for the character, which ultimately put Freya Allen in the role.
Hissrich, who took a 3-week break from Twitter after the controversy, promises that those "trying to understand decisions" about the series will eventually get it."Nothing is arbitrary on this show," she tweeted. She also tweeted in response later in the thread that "casting-based presumptions about my politics are unfounded," indicating that Ciri's casting will make sense in the context of the show.
You’re welcome! I have no reason to block you. I’m sorry you feel that I’ve failed, but that’s your opinion. I hope that you will watch and see that your casting-based presumptions about my politics are unfounded — but if you’ve made up your mind already, that’s fine too. ✌🏻— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) October 14, 2018
Hissrich's emphasis on civility and dialogue are important to note in an era defined by combative comment sections. Criticism is not the same as expletive-laden hate. Only time will tell how the actual show -- scheduled for a late 2019/early 2020 release -- will hold up in the court of opinion.
The Witcher is developed for television by Lauren Schmidt Hissrich (The Defenders). The adaptation stars Henry Cavill as the title character and is expected to premiere for its eight-episode first season sometime in either late 2019 or early 2020 on Netflix.