One of the biggest surprises in the latest trailer for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” was the reveal of Nagini in human form.
In the Harry Potter series, Nagini was Voldemort’s snake, as well as one of his Horcruxes, but in the new prequel film, the character has been cast as a human played by Korean actress Claudia Kim.
While many Potter fans greeted the reveal with shock and excitement, the casting of a Korean woman to play the character sparked debate among some over racial sensitivity.
Young-adult writer Ellen Oh expressed her displeasure on Twitter with the signals apparently sent by the casting choice.
Others joined the chorus of complaints.
Rowling herself responded to one such tweet, explaining the East-Asian origins of the mythical Naga, which inspired the character.
That explanation didn’t sit well with some, though.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published after the trailer dropped, Kim spoke about getting to bring humanity to such a pivotal character in the series.
“You’ve only seen her as a Horcrux. In this, she’s a wonderful and vulnerable woman who wants to live,” she said. “She wants to stay a human being and I think that’s a wonderful contrast to the character.”