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From the get-go, the Netflix-produced TV series for Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher has been followed by fans of the novels and or game adaptations with caution. Fans have been concerned the nature of medieval Polish series is being washed away, with the writers instead focusing on modern inclusivity.
The Witcher Netflix series executive producer and showrunner Lauren Hissrich has talked up this focus on inclusivity in a rather lengthy Twitter thread.
“The books are Polish and packed with Slavic spirit. It was important to keep that same tone in our show,” Hissrich said. “With that in mind, I asked around (especially to Polish friends): can the Slavic culture be reduced solely down to skin color? The answer was resounding: god, we hope not.”
Hissrich added, “The Witcher is REALLY interesting when it comes to depicting racism because it’s about species, not skin color. What makes characters “other” is the shape of their ears, height, etc. In the books, no one pays attention to skin color. In the series… no one does either. Period.”
While the topic of racism has been noted in The Witcher series, it has indeed been usually between humans and other fantasy races. However, some characters, like Triss Merigold (pictured above), have been cast with actors that look nothing like the character. Hissrich talked up this point as well:
“In terms of casting, we welcomed everyone and anyone to put themselves forward to prove they could embody the character. We saw all ages, all ethnicities, all levels of talent, from movie stars to fans in Poland who’d never acted professionally before. We chose the best actors,” she said.
In case you missed it, you can find the first trailer for the new TV series here.
A premiere date for Netflix’s The Witcher series still hasn’t been announced, however it’s supposed to launch sometime later this year.