Cassandra Clare supports diverse casting of Shadowhunters

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​​Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is being adapted into a new television series on ABC Family called Shadowhunters.​ Work on the series is already underway, with the official Shadowhunters‘ Twitter account sending teasers out every day. Casting is ongoing, but the casting of three characters has been announced so far – and, in a wonderful turn of events, two of the three actors are people of color.

Dominic Sherwood will play Jace Wayland, the male lead and a sexy demon-fighting Shadowhunter. Emeraude Toubia will play Isabelle, a Shadowhunter and Jace Wayland’s adopted sister. Alberto Rosende will play Simon Lewis, Clary Fray’s human best friend.

Both Toubia and Rosende are Hispanic, playing characters canonically written as white. Clare completely supports the decision, but many fans have sent her and the Shadowhunters’ creators messages that shamed them for picking actors of color to play the characters.

Clare, however, is having none of it; she spent a lot of May 1st calling out problematic things her fans were saying before pointing out that she had given a big, hearty yes to recasting any white character in her story as a character of color, as their racial identity wasn’t tied inherently to their character.

Clare also said that she had insisted that all characters of color in her book be cast with actors of those colors, as their racial identities were important to their characters.

Other fans sent her worried messages, hoping that she wasn’t getting too much hate for the colorful casting decisions. But Clare isn’t bothered.

“I’d rather people brought the hate at me than at the actors. I’m a privileged white girl. I’ll live,” Tweeted Clare.

Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series is about a girl named Clary Fray, who discovers and joins a group of half-angel fighters called Shadowhunters after her mother is kidnapped. The first book, City of Bones, was adapted into a movie called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones in 2013. The show will begin at the start of the first book, as if the movie never happened. Whether or not they will incorporate Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices series and The Bane Chronicles – both written by Clare, both taking place in the some overarching Shadowhunter world – is not yet known.



​What do you think of the casting for Shadowhunters?

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.