The showrunner of Netflix’s upcoming Witcher TV show has announced she is going on a Twitter hiatus in the midst of backlash surrounding rumoured casting details for the character Ciri. Lauren S. Hissrich announced on Twitter that she’s leaving Twitter, explaining that she is stepping away so she can spend more time writing the show.
“The love here [on Twitter] is amazing, and the hate is enlightening, like a real-life Trials of the Grasses,” she wrote, referencing the horrific-sounding fictitious trial that those looking to become Witchers must endure. She ended her note by asking her Twitter followers to be nice to each other.
It’s time for a Twitter hiatus. The love here is amazing, and the hate is enlightening, like a real-life Trial of the Grasses, except I HAVE to read less and write more — or we won’t have a damn finale. Be back soon with more insight and more Roach. Be nice to each other, okay?
— Lauren S. Hissrich (@LHissrich) September 10, 2018
Hissrich got slammed with negative comments after an unconfirmed casting advertisement suggested that the show’s producers were looking for a young woman of colour to play Ciri, who is Geralt’s adoptive daughter.
Others brought up the fact that in May, Hissrich said on Twitter that she would not change a character’s background because she was feeling “liberal” that day. Hissrich also pointed out at the time that The Witcher show on Netflix will feature minority actors. “But will there be minorities? Yes. A man would be a minority in Brokilon Forest. A person of color would be a minority in a small village. An islander would be an minority in Cintra. [The Witcher series author] Mr. Sapkowski has said–publicly, and to me–that the Continent is big and diverse in its population, in every way (race, culture, gender, and yes, occasionally skin color, which he said he did not always specify). I’m not sure how people insinuate I’m destroying the books by recognizing that. I’m honoring the author’s own intentions. He told me so himself.”
This week, Hissrich pointed out that she did not comment on the casting process for Geralt before it was revealed that Henry Cavill got the role. Similarly, she said she won’t discuss casting for Ciri or other characters until official announcements are made.
Some have already said they will boycott The Witcher TV show, and Hissrich said she doesn’t understand why. “How does one boycott a show that doesn’t yet exist, about a person who hasn’t been cast, in response to a writer who hasn’t commented? I think we’ve officially gone mad,” she said.
Finally, Hissrich said she believes the majority of nay-sayers are not “trolls,” but instead passionate fans. “I actually don’t think the majority of these people are trolls. I think they’re passionate fans, too, with really strong opinions,” she said.
The Witcher TV show is based on Sapkowski’s novels, which are the inspiration for the games from CD Projekt Red. The show is slated to premiere in 2019.
No new games in The Witcher franchise have been announced; CD Projekt Red is currently working on the ambitious futuristic game Cyberpunk 2077.