12 May – Leah Jeffries will not let the negativity over her casting in "Percy Jackson and the Olympians" put a damper on her parade, as she prepares herself to play Annabeth Chase in the upcoming series, "Percy Jackson and the Olympians".
The African-American actress, who will be playing the demi-god daughter of Athena, the Goddess of War, expressed her thoughts about the backlash via @updatespercy on Twitter, saying, "To whoever is hating, stop doing that. I know you think that's going to hurt me though. It's not. You're just wasting time. I'm still confident. Everyone else is confident."
"Everyone else is happy for me. So don't try to bring me down. It's not going to work," she added.
Her casting has also been defended by Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan on his website, who wrote, "If you have a problem with this casting, however, take it up with me. You have no one else to blame. Whatever else you take from this post, we should be able to agree that bullying and harassing a child online is inexcusably wrong. As strong as Leah is, as much as we have discussed the potential for this kind of reaction and the intense pressure this role will bring, the negative comments she has received online are out of line. They need to stop. Now."
"I have been clear, as the author, that I was looking for the best actors to inhabit and bring to life the personalities of these characters, and that physical appearance was secondary for me. We did that. We took a year to do this process thoroughly and find the best of the best. This trio is the best. Leah Jeffries is Annabeth Chase," he added.
Jeffries was not the only child actor whose casting was received with much skepticism, as the choice of Aryan Simhadri as Grover was also criticised by many just for the fact that they are not white.
Prior to the two stars, it was revealed that "The Adam Project" actor Walker Scobell was cast to play the titular character of Percy Jackson.