Ludi Lin Slams Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ for ‘Huge World-Building’ Without Asian Representation

Chinese Canadian actor and activist Ludi Lin called out Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke over the lack of Asian characters in the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” TV series.

Why it matters: Lin's criticism comes after Salke pointed out the “huge world-building” required in the show.

  • The first season of “Lord of the Rings” is Amazon’s most expensive season to date, securing $465 million in its budget.

  • Salke justified the gargantuan amount in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying it was necessary for “a full season of a huge world-building show.”

  • In a tweet from May 13, Lin said it will be difficult to justify building a “huge world” without any Asian characters.

  • “It’s not hard, we’re right here,” he added.

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Lack of representation: Amazon has announced 35 cast members for the upcoming show — and Lin may be right that there are no Asians.

  • Most of the cast are white, with some actors of color in the mix — namely "Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Sophia Nomvete, Sir Lenny Henry, Maxine Cunliffe, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Nazanin Boniadi and Sara Zwangobani."

  • It’s unclear if any of the actors identify as Asian.

  • However, THR said the series is filming in New Zealand and some of its unannounced supporting cast are Māori, which are Pacific Islanders.

  • Lin’s comment drew mixed reactions from social media users — some argued that there is no Asia in Middle Earth (which is suggestive of Europe), while others felt that Amazon could “head canon” and strive for better representation.

Lin plays Liu Kang in the Warner Bros.’ new film “Mortal Kombat.”

Featured Image via PAL STUDIOS 2

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