JK Rowling Responds to Accusations of ‘Racism’ Surrounding Nagini Storyline in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

In the latest trailer of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, fans were surprised to see Nagini make an appearance. More interestingly, she’s not just a Voldemort’s Horcrux, as we all knew her, but a Maledictus, a new magical category in the Wizarding World!


This surprising introduction of a new character has caused controversy, however, as some critics have raised the issue of racism.




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Wearing a scale-like silver dress and grape-colored lips, Claudia Kim, a Korean actress, morphs into a snake with red, cold eyes in the crowds of people. We cannot help but admire Rowling’s story-weaving skill, as she introduces Nagini into the Fantastic Beasts world. Though it sounds amazing and creative, some fans feel confused about the setting: is Nagini an Animagus (a witch or wizard who can turn into a particular animal?) 




Image via Mashable



To answer this question, Rowling tweeted:





Wow! You got it? The new category of magical community, Maledictus, is bold, creative, and potential in a way that, for me, when the new setting has something to do with inescapable born nature or mysterious legacy of family, then it can be developed into powerful and surprising stories and episodes, as if a rhizome that has innumerable knots.  




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Claudia Kim also expressed her thought on this kind-of-new character in an EW interview:



It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini. 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.



Yet, for the perspective of cinematic representation of the fictional character, some people pointed out that casting an Asian woman to play a white man (Voldemort)’s pet is problematic:






Responding to the backlash, Rowling tweeted that:




Clearly, Rowling has already had a comprehensive map of Nagini’s journey-as an Asian female with her specific folklore background. As her tweet responding to someone asking about the Nagini project, she said:





Amazing! Rowling again proved herself to be one of the best storyteller in the world! Hey, Bookstrs, check the trailer of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald below and see you in the theater on November 16th!





Image via Inverse



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