Steve Toussaint has revealed he was a target of racist attacks after he was cast as Corlys Velaryon on the forthcoming HBO show House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the British actor, 57, said he underestimated the response when he was cast in the first prominent role for a person of color in the Game of Thrones universe.
‘When I got the gig, I literally was like, “It’s just another role because I have Black friends who had small parts or recurring parts in’ Game of Thrones,’ Toussaint told the outlet. ‘I didn’t realize it was a bigger deal until I was racially abused on social media when it was announced. Yeah, that s*** happened.’
The actor said that one person called him the N-word and others had made art to mock his casting on the series.
Touissant said: ‘There was also a Black American chap who is a big fan of the show who contacted me saying that he gets abuse because he championed me for the part.
‘On platforms like Reddit, which I’m not on, there are such discussions going on about it. I was like, “Oh wow,” and then I thought, “Okay, this means a lot to some people,” but I can’t allow that to bother me.’
Toussaint noted that he’s heard from various colleagues in the entertainment industry who have also been the target of racist messages after being placed into high-profile roles.
He said that someone he’s ‘known for a long time’ was the recipient of racist messages after getting a role on a Marvel project.
‘A friend of mine who played Hermione in the stage version of Harry Potter, she got it,’ Toussaint said. ‘I’ve worked with John Boyega, and he got it. If it bothers you so much, don’t watch.’