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Lovecraft Country's Racist Horrors Are Rooted in Reality

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Lovecraft Country’s trio of heroes realizing it’s them against the world.
Lovecraft Country’s trio of heroes realizing it’s them against the world.
Image: HBO

In HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Matt Ruff’s novel Lovecraft Country, a family of Black heroes find themselves having to face both the everyday racist realities of 1950s America and a whole host of demonic entities that seem to pop up wherever they go. During this year’s San Diego Comic-Con at Home, Lovecraft Country’s cast sat down to discuss the show’s narrative complexities and how the story it’s telling is firmly rooted in reality.

Though the adventure that Atticus (Jonathan Majors), Leti (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and George (Courtney B. Vance) embark upon brings them face to face with the likes of literal demons, monsters, and magical Klansmen, Lovecraft Country’s as much a sci-fi and fantasy show as it is one about the real-world evils of anti-Black racism.

Majors described how, while reading his script for one scene in which Atticus is pulled over by a white police officer, he was immediately recognized the situation as something he’d been brought up to fear for obvious reasons. Familiar as those fears may be to Black audience members, Majors emphasized how important it is for Lovecraft Country to put that subject matter front and center.

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“You notice in that scene, it’s just people, you understand,” Majors pointed out. “The demonic spirit that’s entering in is that of, you know, racism, etc. That’s what we’re talking about; that’s what we’re showing in technicolor.”

The entire panel discussion’s worth giving a watch to learn more about the cast’s on-screen dynamics, and if you stick around until the very end, there’s a new extended clip from an upcoming episode ahead of Lovecraft Country’s premiere on August 16.

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