Young African-American comedian Leah Sava Jeffries was tapped to play Annabeth and has since faced a violent campaign online.
After recruiting the young star of‘Adam through the time to embody the new Percy Jackson from Disney +, the series announced last week that it had hired the young African-American actress Leah Sava Jeffries (seen in Empire), to play Annabeth, daughter of the goddess Athena and brilliant strategist, played by Alexandra Daddario in the film.
A casting that caused an outcry among fans of the novels, in which Annabeth is described as “white”. Series Percy Jackson therefore takes another direction and it does not pass with some, who have downright skidded by uttering insults against the production and the young star, on the networks. Simply “racist” reactions, which Rick Riordan, creator and author of the novels, cannot stand.
In a blog posthe assures that the response to Leah’s casting has been overall “positive and happy“, but criticizes without restraint those who have gone too far: “If you have a problem with her, you have a problem with me! We all have to agree that the bullying and harassment of a child, on the networks, is inexcusably reprehensible. As strong as Leah is , while we knew the kind of backlash her casting would generate and the intense pressure surrounding the role, the negative comments she received online are irrelevant. They need to stop. Right now.”
Riordan then explains the choice of production, which retained Leah Sava Jeffries after a “long, intense, massive and exhaustive” casting process, respecting Disney’s non-discriminatory policy. “We were looking for the best actors to bring the personalities of these characters to life, and that physical appearance was secondary to me. We assume. We took a year for this process and find the best of the best. This trio is the best. Leah Jeffries as Annabeth Chase“, finally decides Riordan who believes that “To judge the relevance of this cast solely and exclusively on its appearance is racism my friends!”
In the process, Alexandra Daddario, revealed in Annabeth in the film adaptations, also supports the young girl: “Leah Jeffries is going to make an amazing Annabeth!”
Leah Jeffries is going to be an incredible Annabeth!!!
— Alexandra Daddario (@AADaddario) May 10, 2022