In a thread on Twitter, teen author Ellen Oh wrote that the casting choice was a “problem”, before adding:
“I feel like this is the problem when white people want to diversify and don’t actually ask [a] POC [Person of Colour] how to do so. They don’t make the connection between making Nagini an Asian woman who later on is the pet of a white man.
“So I’m going to say it right now. That s*** is racist.”
It's okay to love problematic things. I'll be the first to say that the Harry Potter series made me want to write children's books. But let's also talk about the problems. This feels like a problem. https://t.co/fbI29mqytI
Another Twitter user said that the Potter universe has a history of adhering to racial stereotypes: “Cho Chang [is] the demure ‘gentle flower’ and #Nagini [is] the sexually attractive ‘dragon lady.'”
Ok, this is gonna be the last thing I say on this.
I just want to say that I'm impressed with J.K. Rowling, it takes a LOT of confidence to go 2/2 on racist Asian stereotypes. Cho Chang being the demure "gentle flower" and #Nagini being the sexually attractive "dragon lady".
Fans also accused Rowling of trying to shoehorn more ethnically diverse characters into to the franchise.
“Listen Joanne, we get it, you didn’t include enough representation when you wrote the books,” Twitter user Jen Moulton wrote on Twitter.
“But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage. Representation as an afterthought for more woke points is not good representation.”
@jk_rowling listen Joanne, we get it, you didn't include enough representation when you wrote the books. But suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage. Representation as an afterthought for more woke points is not good representation. https://t.co/UIrR7yiKQD
I don't have a problem w/ Nagini being a trapped Asian woman, if SHE WERE WRITTEN THAT WAY from the start. I don't believe for a sec JKR knew she was human all along. If she had, she would've made different choices in bks 1-7 so that we're all, "Ahhh yes" instead of "WTF???"
Rowling responded to Moulton on Twitter, stating: “The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake.
“Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day.”
The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍
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