The Witcher Netflix Series Showrunner Opens Up About Casting Choices, Inclusion Controversy

There was a lot of controversy surrounding the casting choices in The Witcher Netflix series
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The Witcher Netflix series dropped its first trailer during San Diego Comic-Con and to say skeptics were impressed would be a massive understatement. Many had reservations about Superman as Geralt, though the real divisiveness over casting happened when an earlier leak revealed that Netflix was looking to cast a woman of colour as Ciri, as opposed to the pale ashen hair’d character we saw in the games. Though that leak turned out to be false and we’ve got our full cast confirmed, the perceived backlash still lingered long after the leak went live. 

We recently had a chance to talk to the showrunner, Lauren Hissrich (Umbrella Academy), during SDCC to talk about the casting and the more inclusive cast also seen with our chosen riss Merigold, especially in a climate where many hurled the overused and tired “SJW” insult at the company for their “come on, come all” policy when it came to casting.

When asked about the inspiration behind more inclusion, Hissrich clarified that they didn’t cast in mind with “we want THIS for THIS sake.” Instead, the crew took the approach of making sure that the right actor was for the right role, regardless of skin colour. “Anyone is welcome, come and prove yourself,” said the showrunner. She added, “We don’t cast for the sake of inclusion, we cast who is right.”

From the trailer, Triss, despite looking differently than the Triss we saw in-game with her fiery red locks, seems like an incredible pick. The video was breathtaking, filled with intrigue, destiny, and that glorious combat we’ve come to expect. 

Hissrich also made a solid point about the less restrictive roles regarding casting by mentioning that the game itself was an adaptation of the book, so both the show and the games were adaptations of the same source material. She also took a moment to assure fans that the entire team remained faithful to the books in a way that she feels confident even the most hardcore of fans can appreciate. 


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Liana Ruppert
With an arguably unhealthy obsession with Dragon Age and Mass Effect, Liana is wildly passionate about all things in the gaming community. From shooters, to RPGs, if it's out - she's playing it. A medically retired US Sailor and now full-time hoarder of gaming collectibles, Liana's passion for everything in the gaming industry is palpable. Also, if you lose her in a crowd, just casually mention any BioWare game and the crazy pterodactyl screech will without a doubt follow. You can follow her on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy or email her for editorial inquiries at [email protected]!