Becky Riordan, the wife of Percy Jackson and the Olympians novelist Rick Riordan, took to Twitter to encourage harassment of Percy Jackson fans who disagree with the race-swapping of Annabeth Chase and Grover Underwood in the upcoming Disney+ adaptation of the books.
Riordan previously implied that fans were racist when she claimed they were engaging in demagoguery in reaction to the race swap castings.
She tweeted, “A while back you (the fans) and I agreed to make these handles as kid friendly safe places as possible. We give no room to demagoguery.”
“We focus on the positive, We are supportive and uplifting. We encourage fans to not give space to hate speech veiled or blatant. #DoNotTweetHate”
She then proceeded to call people who wanted the show to be true to the books’ source material “haters.”
“I will also tell you something I know is a fact. Rick’s books open people’s minds. We get letters all the time that tell us this. Our TV show can do the same,” she tweeted.
Riordan added, “Yelling at haters will get us no where. Do not give their hate fires oxygen. #DoNotTweetHate”
Next, Riordan tweeted, “Demagoguery is a good word to know. 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,” Riordan added.
Becky Riordan then outright called those critical of the casting racist and misogynistic.
She wrote on Twitter, “Most of the haters don’t know they are misogynistic and or racist so you won’t be able to convince them that they are wrong.”
Riordan continued, “The one thing you can do? Many of you are already doing it! SING Leah’s praises. Shout your approval of Leah worldwide! Create art in her honor. Celebrate!”
She would then seemingly encourage harassment or at least cheerlead the harassment of those she deemed racists and misogynists in response to a user claiming that individuals critical of the casting know they are racists and misogynists.
Riordan tweeted, “They sure as heck should know now! You all are giving them a good what for!”
Twitter user MasteroftheTDS shared a number of examples of individuals tweeting insults and accusing him of racism for disagreeing with the casting choices as well as criticizing Rick Riordan for attacking his fans as racists. As you can see numerous Twitter users accused him of racism.
Wanting the cast of a live-action show to match up with the original source material is not racist. Wanting Black Panther to be portrayed by a black man instead of a white man is not racist. Just like wanting Annabeth Chase to be portrayed by a white woman instead of a black woman is not racist. That is how those characters were originally written.
Not only did they accuse him of being a racist for something that is not racist, but one user told him to “kill yourself” while another told him to “gargle glass.”
One can only imagine if they are doing this to one Twitter user, how many other Twitter users are they doing it to. This is also the type of behavior that Becky Riordan is encouraging and cheering on when she calls people racists for an action that is not racist and tweets, “They sure as heck should know now! You all are giving them a good what for!”
Nevertheless, Riordan would double down on calling Percy Jackson fans racists, “Today I am grateful to everyone who reached out to us to tell us what we (including you fans) said yesterday had an impact on them.”
“Some are not ready to take a hard look inside themselves but I remain hopeful. Racism has no place in the Percy Jackson fandom,” she wrote.
Ironically, Rick Riordan admitted he was a racist in a blog post on his website.
Riordan wrote, “Racism/colorism isn’t something we have or don’t have. I have it. You have it. We all do. And not just white people like me. All people.”
“It’s either something we recognize and try to work on, or it’s something we deny. Saying “I am not racist!” is simply declaring that you deny your own biases and refuse to work on them,” he added.
What do you make of Becky Riordan’s actions? Are you surprised that she would encourage and cheerlead the harassment of Percy Jackson fans while also attacking them as racists?