more than 800 artists sign a letter of support for actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, victim of online racism

In May, she will be on stage alongside Tom Holland in London in a new adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet”. A casting which caused a new wave of hatred online.


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British artist Francesca Amewudah-Rivers, June 14, 2023. (DAVE BENETT / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE)

“Juliet must be white !” Racist and hateful remarks surged after the choice of black actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers to play the role of Juliet, in a new theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare's play alongside Tom Holland. It will be performed from May at the London theater The Duke of York. Director Jamie Lloyd's company defended the actress in a post on X, published on April 5: “This must stop. Any abuse will not be tolerated and will be automatically reported,” she warned.

An indignation to which more than 830 actresses, mainly black, echoed in an open letter published on April 10, reporting a “an all too familiar horror”. “Too often, Black artists – especially Black actresses – find themselves facing the storm of online harassment after committing the crime of finding employment on their own,” they denounce as a sign of solidarity.

“The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a gentle soul is too much to bear. For a casting announcement for a play to trigger such twisted and ugly abusive comments is truly embarrassing for those who are so empty and sterile in their own lives that they must get involved in hateful abuse”they continue.

Letter of solidarity towards… by Franceinfo

This is not the first time that Juliette has been played by a black artist on the London stage. Musical comedy And Juliet with Miriam-Teak Lee achieved a real triumph. Her performer received the trophy for best actress in a musical at the Laurence Olivier Awards, the British theater awards, the equivalent of the Molières.

The letter written by Susan Wokoma, the actress of Enola Holmes and the Somali writer Nonyé Seaton, received among others the signature of Lashana Lynch, first woman to play agent 007 in the James Bond Dying can wait and his partner in The Woman KingSheila Atim.

Francesca Amewudah-Rivers' Romeo in the play, Tom Holland, in a relationship with actress Zendaya and famous Spider-Man at Marvel, did not speak. He left social networks in August 2022 to preserve his mental health, he announced.

A petition has also been launched on It collected nearly 8,000 signatures.

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Written by ezzeddif

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