Recent comments regarding sex and gender that were tweeted out by Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling, have created a buzz within the online community. Many fans of the series found themselves disappointed in Rowling’s controversial stance, with Daniel Radcliffe himself speaking out about the issue in hopes of comforting dedicated Potterheads.
Following Rowling’s statements, readers began discussing their thoughts on minority representation within the books. Particularly, attention was called to the character known as Cho Chang — Harry’s love interest throughout the series. Several fans felt that the name was offensive and apathetically chosen. This stemmed from the belief that it was not an accurate representation of names found within the Asian community and appeared to blend various Asian ethnicities together.
With such a discussion growing traction, the hashtag “#chochang” quickly began trending in the Twitterverse. Katie Leung, who portrays Cho Chang in the movie series, took notice of this and felt obliged to respond. “So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…” she tweeted, referencing that she would state her opinion in the replies section below. Instead, Leung’s actions spoke louder than words as she linked to various donations and petitions intended to support transgender individuals in the black community, concretely outlining her position on the matter.
It is unfortunate when an author once considered to be the hero of childhood fantasy holds a view that many may feel is harmful to themselves and those that they love. Fortunately, solace can be found in those behind the characters – Leung and Radcliffe have kept the magic alive by rallying alongside muggles and wizards everywhere.