Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald has already had its fair share of controversy, with the decision to retain alleged domestic abuser Johnny Depp in the titular role leading to calls for a boycott of the film. And that’s not all. The latest trailer has revealed that Voldemort’s serpent sidekick Nagini, who will feature in the second Fantastic Beasts film, is actually a shape-shifting woman, and this revelation has met with outcry and accusations of racism, given that Nagini is portrayed by Korean actress Claudia Kim.
Fans are reacting negatively to what they see as a clumsy attempt to include diversity in the prequel film, given that the original Harry Potter series was seen to lack diversity. Rowling has faced criticism for what has been dubbed ‘retroactive diversity’ from fans who reject the notion that certain ‘diverse’ plot points, such as Nagini’s true identity, and Dumbledore’s sexuality, were revealed long after these characters were written, in leading to suspicion that these elements of the story were invented post-publication in order to cover up the fact that the original books did not do a very good job of representation. Particular offense has been taken at the decision to make Nagini an Asian woman who is effectively the pet of a white man, Voldemort.
In response to the latest slew of accusations, Rowling claimed that the Nagini plotline had been planned for roughly twenty years, and tweeted:
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 ?
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 26, 2018
However, Indian author Amish Tripathi has rejected Rowling’s claims and explanations in a series of tweets:
Actually @jk_rowling the Naga mythology emerged from India. It travelled to Indonesia with the Indic/Hindu empires that emerged there in the early Common Era, with the influence of Indian traders and Rishis/Rishikas who travelled there. Nagin is a Sanskrit language word. https://t.co/cXHSlDD7Kc
— Amish Tripathi (@authoramish) September 26, 2018
@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
— Jen Moulton (@J_A_Moulton) September 26, 2018
Rowling has yet to respond to Tripathi’s tweets.
Featured Image Via Harry Potter Wiki