Young adult author Veronica Roth’s bestselling dystopia Divergent has a main character of color—but it’s not exactly directly stated in the series. Discerning readers noted that Roth’s main character Tobias, aka “Four,” was never explicitly mentioned as being white. After affirming in a Tumblr post last year that the character was actually biracial, Roth noted that she pictured him having light skin but later vowed to “use her words” to make sure that her wishes for a diverse cast were known in the event of a movie.
“I really hate whitewashing,” Roth wrote. “I really do. It’s VERY important to me that it not happen.”
But when the announcement of Four’s casting came in March, Roth’s priorities had shifted:
"Recently I saw Theo James’ screen test with Shailene Woodley, and I was sure within seconds: this was ‘Four,’ no question. Theo is able to capture ‘Four’s’ authority and strength, as well as his depth and sensitivity. He is a perfect match for Shailene’s incredibly strong presence as Tris. I’m thrilled!"
The problem? Theo James is white.