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Alexandra Daddario, ‘Percy Jackson’ Author Show Support For Leah Sava Jeffries Following Disney+ Series Casting Backlash

By Brent Furdyk.

Last week, Disney+ announced its lead cast for “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”, the upcoming series based on Rick Riordan’s popular “Percy Jackson” book series.

While Walker Scobell was cast as the titular 12-year-old demigod Percy, it was the casting of Leah Sava Jeffries as Annabeth Chase that rankled some fans — because a Black actress was cast as a character depicted as white in the books.

After being announced for the series, Jeffries shared an Instagram video to reveal that her TikTok account had been “banned” due to people complaining about her casting. “They literally took down my whole account,” she said.

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Riordan responded by slamming those who would attack Jeffries because of the colour of her skin, issuing a scathing denouncement that he posted on his website.

“The core message of Percy Jackson has always been that difference is strength. There is power in plurality. The things that distinguish us from one another are often our marks of individual greatness. You should never judge someone by how well they fit your preconceived notions. That neurodivergent kid who has failed out of six schools, for instance, may well be the son of Poseidon. Anyone can be a hero,” Riordan wrote.

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“If you don’t get that, if you’re still upset about the casting of this marvelous trio, then it doesn’t matter how many times you have read the books,” he added. “You didn’t learn anything from them.”

Riordan’s wife, Rebecca Riordan (who is also an exec producer on the series), also shared a statement.

“Demagoguery is a good word to know,” she wrote on Twitter. “Do we need to have a talk about the intersectionality of misogyny and racism? Misogyny is equally a problem here. We condemn both. Getting yelled at? Annabeth doesn’t belong to you. She never did. Leave Leah alone.”

In a subsequent tweet, she revealed that Disney is working with Jeffries’ family to get her TikTok account reinstated.

Alexandra Daddario, who previously played Annabeth in both of the “Percy Jackson” movies, in 2010 and 2013, also praised Jeffries on Twitter:

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