LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Steve Toussaint attends the "House Of The Dragon" Sky Group Premiere at Leicester Square on August 15, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
TV - Movies
House Of The
Dragon Star
Steve Toussaint
Puts Critics In
Their Place
HBO’s “House of the Dragon” finally premiered on August 21, 2022, and while fans were happy to be back in the land of Westeros once again, some took to social media to air their grievances. Steve Toussaint, who stars as Lord Corlys Velaryon, has been blasted by racist social media users, calling the actor’s portrayal and casting inaccurate because of his skin color.
Toussaint is the latest actor of color being harassed by viewers, but he had a unique response to the backlash. In an interview with Men’s Health, Toussaint shot back and said, “They’re happy with white hair and violet-colored eyes, but a rich Black guy? That’s beyond the pale,” pointing out how ridiculous it is to impose outdated ideas of race and believability onto a fictional show.
Toussaint also noted that insisting historical and classic characters should be white not only hinders people of color from entering the entertainment industry, but also erases the reality that people of color have always been in spaces deemed white. Toussaint said, “[people of color] didn’t just turn up here in the ‘70s or the ‘60s” — and casting should reflect that truth.
However, Toussaint isn’t letting the haters stop him. In a July 2022 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Toussaint said, “I didn’t realize [the casting] was a big deal until I was racially abused on social media. Yeah, that s*** happened. I was just like, ‘Oh wow,’ and then I thought: ‘OK, so this means a lot to some people, but I can’t allow that to bother me.’”