JK Rowling has been accused of racism over the characterisation of Nagini in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The Harry Potter author and screenwriter is receiving the backlash because people are upset that Claudia Kim is playing a character who in the original books and film series was subservient to Lord Voldemort and his pet.
Some fans believe that by now making Nagini originally a woman, rather than just a snake, it perpetuates an image of women of colour being oppressed by white men.
They shared their ire on Twitter.
I feel like this is the problem when white people want to diversify and don't actually ask POC 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 shit is racist.
— Ellen "Call Me General" Oh (@ElloEllenOh) September 25, 2018
Reasons to get a #sensitivityreader: So someone can tell you revealing that the *PET* of the the wizard nazi is actually a cursed Asian woman is racist BEFORE it gets put into a movie. #harrypotter #nagini
— Jesse G (@DeadGodJess) September 26, 2018
Apparently JK Rowling decided that Nagini (voldemort’s pet snake) is a Korean woman and I am so sad that so much of my childhood was wasted on such an unsurprisingly racist white woman
— Annesha Sengupta (@anneshamitha) September 26, 2018
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".
— The Headless HorseVinh 💀 (@Supervinh47) September 26, 2018
Though not everyone was convinced by this argument.
So…Jk Rowling is racist now for casting a POC as a Villian??? What has this world gone to…People need to stop attacking their own allies for no reason #Nagini #FantasticBeasts pic.twitter.com/sTpLfGZAC8
— Brian (@BriPremium) September 26, 2018
as an asian woman I'm not particularly offended about claudia being nagini, I actually think it's kinda cool to know her whole backstory,, people are just so easily offended these days, you can't enjoy anything without it having some sort of racist deeper meaning
— #10YearsWithIU🌸 (@y0seobs) September 26, 2018
jk rowling is not a racist by making asian woman as nagini's true form. i believe it's just an act of bringing up some race diversity to the movie. besides, nagini is not a 'white man's pet', she's so precious to voldemort he turned her into his closest horcrux.
— 𓁛 srhlita ☥ (@ancientcatnip) September 26, 2018
It’s not the first time Rowling has been criticised for changes she’s made to the backstories of the original Harry Potter characters.
While many LGBTQ fans were happy to learn that Dumbledore was gay there was widespread frustration that this wasn’t explicitly addressed in the book or film series, or more prominently in the new film with Jude Law playing a younger version of the Hogwarts headmaster.
Rowling has said that Nagini’s human origin has been her personal secret for 20 years saying that the character was inspired by the Naga of Indonesian mythology.
“They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake,” Rowling tweeted. “Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi.”
Nice save, Jo.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released in cinemas on 16 November.