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JK Rowling responds to Fantastic Beasts casting backlash

Find out how the author responded to the backlash

fantastic beasts poster
September 27, 2018
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JK Rowling has responded to backlash from fans of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them after it was revealed that South Korean actress Claudia Kim was playing Nagini, a shape-shifting witch who eventually becomes a snake and is Voldemort's pet in the Harry Potter franchise. Following the release of the final trailer earlier this week, some fans suggested that the casting was problematic, with one person tweeting to the author: "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."

claudia kim

Claudia Kim will play Nagini in the new film

Jo responded to the message defending her decision to make the character Asian, writing: "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."

READ: Final Fantastic Beasts trailer confirms major Harry Potter villain's return

Others disagreed that the casting was offensive, with one person writing: "Another huge appearance portrayed by Asian casts. Crazy Rich Asians, To all the boys I loved before, Searching and then now NAGINI is a Korean?!!! Genius bro genius," while another added: "Not all POC has to be portrayed via presidents or good minister roles. Representation should be both good and bad." JK Rowling told another fan that she has always known that Nagini used to be a woman, and joked that she had been holding onto the secret for "only for around twenty years" before it was revealed. Giving an insight into how the character turns into a snake, she explained: "Maledictuses are always women, whereas werewolves can be either sex. The Maledictus carries a blood curse from birth, which is passed down from mother to daughter."

READ: Everything you need to know about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2

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