JK Rowling Defends Controversial Casting of Korean Actress Claudia Kim as Nagini

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The release of the final Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald trailer has stirred up a LOT of reactions. When people noticed the return of Harry Potter stars Jamie Campbell Bower & Toby Regbo as Young Gellert Grindelwald & Young Albus Dumbledore, respectively, fans FREAKED THE EFF OUT because they were so excited about the surprise cameos.

The latest trailer also confirmed the theory that Nagini, Lord Voldemort’s trusty snake, was once human. Naturally, that caused fans to FREAK THE EFF OUT, too… but not for good reasons. Many criticized the production for casting South Korean actress Claudia Kim as Nagini. Twitter user @J_A_Moulton, a self-proclaimed linguist, author and local witch, tweeted at Harry Potter author JK Rowling, saying that “making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage. Representation as an afterthought for more woke points is not good representation.”

While there are many points that can be made about the lack of diversity throughout the HP franchises, the renowned author made a fair point about the casting decision. In defense of the choice, JK Rowling responded, “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 actress who portrays the reptile is also incredibly excited to play the “wonderful and vulnerable woman” in the production. “It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini,” Claudia told Entertainment Weekly. “You’ve only seen her as a Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live. She wants to stay a human being and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.”