‘A racist, misogynist disaster’: Twitter slams Claudia Kim’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ casting

"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" teases a new connection between Voldemort and Grindelwald that will have fans of the Harry Potter fans pondering for months to come, or until the film's release on November 16th.
USA TODAY

Not all is “Fantastic” in Potter world after the newest trailer for “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” dropped this week.

The casting of South Korean actress Claudia Kim as Nagini, who transforms into the snake in the final trailer for the film out in November, doesn’t have everyone under its spell. Nagini eventually becomes Lord Voldemort’s menacing snake.

Some on Twitter were quick to point out, what they felt, was inappropriate about the decision. 

“How did nobody involved in Fantastic Beasts 2 look at this Nagini situation and think, ‘huh, this sounds problematic…’? Because it’s problematic as (expletive),” one Twitter user shared in a NSFW tweet.

Claudia Kim is Nagini in "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald." (Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for FLAUNT Magazine)

“maybe ‘circus performer who turns into a murderous snake’ isn’t the best choice of role for one of the two (women of color) in the franchise,” wrote another.

maybe “circus performer who turns into a murderous snake“ isn't the best choice of role for one of the two WOC in the franchise.

“The new Fantastic Beasts trailer was visually amazing but i dont know what to feel about this whole Nagini thing,” a torn member of the Twittersphere shared. 

The new Fantastic Beasts trailer was visually amazing but i dont know what to feel about this whole Nagini thing ?

Another user slammed “the revelation that Nagini is actually a human woman (with an Asian actress cast in the role) cursed to become a snake” as a “racist, misogynist disaster.”

Full disclosure: I never watched the Fantastic Beasts movies and don't intend to. But in addition to Johnny Depp, the revelation that Nagini is actually a human woman (with an Asian actress cast in the role) cursed to become a snake is…a racist, misogynist disaster. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

J.K. Rowling, who serves as a producer and writer for the film, defended Kim’s casting to a user who tweeted “suddenly making Nagini into a Korean woman is garbage.”

“The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini,’ ” the author shared. “They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi.” 

After telling the user to “Have a lovely day,” Rowling included a snake emoji.

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 ?

Kim herself shared her excitement about her role in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

“It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini,” she told the entertainment news outlet. “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.”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” arrives in theaters Nov. 16.

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