Call it out

‘House of the Dragon’ star calls out racist trolls and comes out on social media

Writers and filmmakers place us into fantastical worlds, all from the comfort of our living rooms, beds, and commutes. And the places they create allow for others to escape from everyday life. But not everyone believes that every fan deserves to see themselves on-screen. However, when trolls came after House of the Dragon star Bethany Antonia, neither she, nor fans were not having it.

Antonia, who plays Baela Targaryen, posted to her Instagram Stories a DM received from a stranger. The unwelcome DM called Antonia racial slur, before wishing the actor “accidentally die on set.” Antonia captioned the screenshot with “Wait till they find out I’m gay too….”

Antonia then shared a follow up post on her Instagram Stories with the caption “Y’all won’t ruin this first glimmer of dragon joy for us negroes.”

Photo credit: Screenshot via Bethany Antonia’s Instagram Stories

Antonia said what she said.

Racist comments have continued to plague the careers of various Black actors who take on roles in fantasy and science fiction. Actors like Ncuti Gatwa, Amandla Stenberg, and Ismael Cruz Cordova have all been subjected to racist backlash for their casting in the Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings franchises. While each has called out the racist commentary and trolls within their franchises’ respective fanbases, everyone deserves to be and should be represented in the media they consume.

Antonia took on the role of Baela Targaryen in the first season of House of the Dragon in 2022, alongside co-stars Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Matt Smith, Phoebe Campbell, Sonoya Mizuno, Milly Alcock, and Emily Carey. Now, she’ll return as part of Team Black (led by D’Arcy’s Rhaenyra Targaryen), along with her on-screen sister Rhaena (Campbell), to battle against Team Green (led by Cooke’s Alicent Hightower). While some HoTD fans think there’s no place for Black actors in fantasy, there are plenty of others who believe otherwise and have showered Antonia with ample support.

House of the Dragon season two premieres on June 16.

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