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Source: Ian West – PA Images / Getty / Francesca Amewudah-Rivers

Actress Francesca Amewudah-Rivers should be celebrating the good news about landing the role of Juliet in a London West End production of Romeo & Juliet. Instead, she had to endure racist criticism, but thankfully, she has an industry of peers to stand in support of her.

After word of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers landing the lead role alongside Spider-Man: No Way Home star Tom Holland, who will play Romeo hit, the racist and misogynistic abuse was immediate.

Variety reports an open letter from actor Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) and playwright Somalia Nonyé Seaton (Crowning Glory) garnering over 800 signatures in support of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers while calling out the racist attacks.

Per Variety:

The letter, published in The Guardian on Wednesday, was the initiative of “Enola Holmes” actor Susan Wokoma and “Crowning Glory” playwright Somalia Nonyé Seaton. It reads, “When news of Francesca Amewudah-Rivers’ casting in Jamie Lloyd’s production of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ was announced so many people celebrated and welcomed this news. Many of us took to social media to shower our baby sis with love and congratulations – a huge deal for someone so young in their career. A huge rising talent.

“But then what followed was a too familiar horror that many of us visible Black dark skinned performers have experienced. The racist and misogynistic abuse directed at such a sweet soul has been too much to bear. For a casting announcement of a play to ignite such twisted ugly abuse is truly embarrassing for those so empty and barren in their own lives that they must meddle in hateful abuse.”

883 Black Actors Have Signed The Open Letter

Variety reports Lashana Lynch (Bob Marley: One Love, No Time To Die), Sheila Atim (The Woman King), Marianne Jean-Baptiste (Secrets & Lies), Lolly Adefope (Ghosts), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Wunmi Mosaku (His House) and Tamara Lawrance (The Silent Twins) were among the 883 signatories.

Romeo & Juliet, directed by Jamie Lloyd, will run at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre from May 23 through Aug. 3 and is already the hottest ticket for a stage play, completely selling out.