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Witcher showrunner takes break from Twitter, but is it due to the Ciri casting controversy?

Contributed by
Sep 11, 2018

Witcher showrunner Lauren Schmidt Hissrich announced she was taking a break from Twitter, and it could have something to do with the backlash over the casting call for one of the main characters, Ciri. 

"It's time for a Twitter hiatus," wrote Hissrich, who is known for her work on The West Wing and Netflix's Daredevil. "The love here is amazing, and the hate is enlightening, like a real-life Trial of the Grasses, except I HAVE to read less and write more -- or we won't have a damn finale. Be back soon with more insight and more Roach. Be nice to each other, okay?"

Last week, news broke that Henry Cavill (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) would be playing the show's main character, Geralt of Rivia, a special monster-hunting warrior known as a "witcher."

Not long after, an alleged casting call went out for Geralt's adopted daughter and witcher-in-training, Ciri. The notice stated that the actors vying for the role had to be between 15 - 18 (able to believably play a 13-to-14-year-old) and Black, Asian, or any other non-White minority. 

Bunty King posted a screenshot of the reported casting notice, which you can see below:

This caused outrage from fans, who were quick to point out that in the books, Ciri is described as, "pale skinned, with ashen (white) hair." Some have even described the situation as reverse whitewashing.

"Set in fantasy Poland, The Witcher is a piece of cultural pride for Poland, a historically oppressed nation. So why is your casting call looking for anything but a white actress?" tweeted @Alverd_Dralshya

There's even an entire Reddit discussion over it, where some have written that the notice could be a fake. For instance, ogurkens posits that changing the look of Ciri would effect the character's entire personal history, effectively turning her into a completely different person. 

The Witcher will be a Netflix Original and be based around the fantasy books written by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. To date, eight books have been published since 1993, with numerous film, TV, and video game adaptations being produced.