Following his selection to play Corlys Velaryon in the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel HBO series House of the Dragon, Steve Toussaint has disclosed that he became the object of racist taunts.
The British actor, 57, admitted to underestimating the reaction when he was chosen for the first important role for a person of color in the Game of Thrones realm in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
‘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 claimed that he had received the N-word as well as art mocking his inclusion in the series.
In addition, a Black American man who is a great fan of the show contacted Touissant and complained that he receives criticism for having supported him in getting the role.
‘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 mentioned that he has heard from several friends in the entertainment business who, after landing prominent roles, were likewise the object of racial remarks.
He claimed that after landing a role on a Marvel film, a person he has “knew for a long time” started receiving racist messages.
‘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.’