It seems The Hobbit is doomed to be a film shrouded in controversy. If it's not for the multiple false starts, directors dropping out or union disputes, it's something else people seem to pick up on and run with.
So what is it this time? The AFP reports a casting director had to be let go from the Peter Jackson production after telling a Pakastani-born woman she was unfit to play a Hobbit extra because of the color of her skin. There's discrimination in Middle Earth? Say it ain't so!
According to the Waikato Times, video footage shows the same casting director telling potential Hobbits and an audition, “We are looking for light-skinned people. I’m not trying to be … whatever. It’s just the brief. You’ve got to look like a Hobbit.”
A spokesperson for Jackson's company responded by saying that the casting director was never told to make restrictions based on skin color. “No such instructions were given,” the spokesman told AFP. “The crew member in question took it upon themselves to do that and it’s not something we instructed or condoned. It’s something we take very seriously.”