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People Have Very Mixed Feelings About This "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald" Casting Reveal

The news that a South Korean actor would play Nagini has proved to be unpopular.

Last updated on September 27, 2018, at 4:50 a.m. ET

Posted on September 26, 2018, at 5:41 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, Warner Bros. released the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film is due out in November.

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One notable part of the trailer was the reveal that Nagini, Voldemort's snake, is actually a Maledictus, a woman with cursed blood who eventually transforms into a beast.

Warner Bros. / youtube.com

The Maledictus character is portrayed by South Korean actor Claudia Kim.

J.K. Rowling appeared to confirm this.

Only for around twenty years. https://t.co/gZadgWVREN

However, shortly after the reveal people began calling out the casting of an Asian woman in the role.

now it is revealed that Claudia Kim is playing Nagini and she's blood cursed to turn into a beast and it only affects women and of course she picks an Asian woman like that's not stereotypically disgusting enough

Rowling has been previously criticised for the lack of diversity within the Harry Potter universe. The recasting of Lavender Brown as a white character when her role became bigger in the films, terrible outfit choices for the Patil twins, and the appropriation of Native American culture are all regularly cited by fans and critics as ways the writer has let down a diverse audience.

The film has also been criticized for keeping Johnny Depp in the role as Grindelwald, despite allegations of domestic abuse from his former wife Amber Heard.

is it just me or is the whole claudia kim thing racist on like a hundred different levels

Couldn't Nagini have just been a evil snake and maybe Claudia Kim couldve played a different witch and a not a literal dehumanized character? This also ends up turning a triumphant moment for Neville vanquishing evil into something deeply troubling and problematic??!?!

Some people said the casting pushed the stereotype of Asian women being submissive and weak.

listen,, i was worried about kim's character the minute she was announced like what if she's the Exotic Asian type with barely any lines just set up to die for credence's eventual manpain or w/e but it turns out.... it's Worse

FYI, some people believe Nagini's name to be derived from a Sanskrit word for a snake or cobra deity. That's causing a whole problem in itself.

I like Claudia Kim. I'm glad she's getting work and it seems like she has a cool take on the role. I'm sure she will bring humanity, dignity and vulnerability to Nagini. But also... Did it have to be Nagini?

Also, Kim and Zoe Kravitz are both in antagonist roles that people are saying conform to lazy tropes applied to women of color.

Ah if it wasn’t clear before it is now but @jk_rowling and @wbpictures seem to have a problem casting PoC in any other role other than antagonists or plain bad guys as made apparent by Claudia Kim playing Nagini and Zoe Kravitz playing Leta Lestrange #FantasticBeasts https://t.co/hhxMqR61bk

With the racist history of Asian women being cast as Dragon Ladies, Nagini being a snake... helping a fascist kill people then getting her head lopped off without anyone knowing she's a human. https://t.co/ZGNz971CYj

@theperaltiagos lmao basically nagini is a snake that's a horcrux (items that hold voldemort's soul) and in the trailer it shown claudia kim's character turning into nagini which is disgusting considering nagini is voldemort's pet and there are very few poc characters in the entire series

Others pointed out that the choice seemed inconsistent with details previously known about Nagini and speculated the reveal and casting may have been forced for the film.

"So how many details are now inconsistent bc Rowling messed with Nagini 1. Voldemort preference to pureblood only 2. Nevil Longbottom 3. Nagini being an "Albanian snake" https://t.co/6fWyp52q8n

So Nagini is a Korean woman with an Indian name who lived in Albania later turned into a horcrux? What's next? She might as well be Harry's mother (Voldemort's his father) and Harry is actually not just a parseltongue but half-human half-snake. https://t.co/vjUvWU1wOu

"The millenium falcon is powered by the consciousness of an android woman that had her own personality!" - said solo J.k rowling shakes. She opens her mouth. "Nagini has been an enslaved asian woman being milked by voldemort and eating the bodies of his victims for 10 years!"

It's just a mess.

A problem I have w/ the after-the-fact diversity tack-ons is that these characters & ANIMALS were written as NOT POC. But now that they're being made POC their behavior doesn't sync up. Like Wormtail MILKED Nagini to feed gross baby Voldemort in HP4 and now she's an Asian woman?!

"nagini is actually an asian woman who is repeatedly milked by the dark lord and then killed" sounds like the sort of thing you'd see while testing a rowling retcon bot before deleting the entire thing in horror

However, people have defended the casting, saying that Kim seems excited about the role and that it's still representation.

Is it ok that I’m not mad that Nagini was cast as an Asian? I was at an event with Claudia Kim yesterday and told her how cool it was to see more Asian representation in this franchise and she later told me that it meant a lot to her that I said that.

Those tweets in that thread about Koreans being angry about the choice of casting Claudia Kim as a pre-Voldemort era Nagini clearly showed they don't have a proper understanding of the Wizarding World and even lesser knowledge on the lore within the series.

Funny how none of the people misrepresenting Nagini as racist give a shit about how rude they’re being to Claudia Kim. #CrimesofGrindelwald #Nagini

Kim has yet to respond to any of the backlash but has posted several times on Instagram about the announcement and her role.

Instagram: @claudiashkim

On Wednesday, Rowling replied to a tweet about the controversy, appearing to clarify the source of Nagini's name, and vaguely address the casting of Kim.

@J_A_Moulton 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 🐍

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