'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald': JK Rowling responds to Nagini backlash

By @sachintrivedig on
Fantastic Beasts
A poster of "Fantastic Beasts 2." Fantastic Beasts/ Facebook

The big reveal that Nagini is being featured in “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has got the fans excited, but not everybody is happy about Claudia Kim playing the role. Responding to the backlash, JK Rowling shared some context with the help of mythology to defend the casting.

Rowling is the author of the “Harry Potter” book series and the script writer of the upcoming film. A fan recently commented on the low level of diversity in both her books and movies, and accused the filmmakers of adding an Asian actress to play Nagini as an afterthought. Rowling decided to respond to this on Twitter.

“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,” Rowling said.

Rowling’s comments however made more people to join in the conversation. Many people pointed out that the Naga mythology is originally from India. The mythology is deeply rooted in Hinduism and Buddhism. Some of the people who commented also expressed their shock at Rowling not knowing about this.

Jen Moulton, the person who started the debate, later said that she isn’t against Kim. Her issue is that there is only one Asian character in the film, and this character goes on to become the pet of the villain Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). She, however, hopes that the future movies from the franchise will have diverse cast playing important roles.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” has been directed by David Yates. The film is set to be released on Nov. 15 in Australia. The cast members include Johnny Depp (Gellert), Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Ezra Miller (Credence), Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein).

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