The Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer Just Revealed That Nagini Is An Asian Woman, And Fans Aren't Happy

The Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer Just Revealed That Nagini Is An Asian Woman, And Fans Aren't HappyThe Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer Just Revealed That Nagini Is An Asian Woman, And Fans Aren't Happy

It turns out that Voldemort's devoted pet was an Asian woman all along. How do you feel about that?

The final trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has just been released, and one revelation has gotten fans stirred up in a frenzy — and not the good kind. Lord Voldemort's loyal snake companion and Horcrux Nagini is a woman, and an Asian woman at that.

Played by South Korean actress Claudia Kim, Nagini is seen in the trailer as part of a travelling circus, where her act is transforming herself into a snake for muggle entertainment. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kim revealed that Nagini is a Maledictus, or a woman who's cursed to permanently transform into a beast. Nagini doesn't seem to be a wizard per se — Kim said that she doesn't have a wand.

“It will be so interesting to see another side of Nagini,” Kim said. “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.” 

Not everyone feels as good about the revelation that Nagini is a woman.

Many are fed up with how JK Rowling seems to be rewriting characters and introducing new facts, even though the story doesn't exactly call for it. Over a decade after the final Harry Potter book, and she's still building the world.

And that's not necessarily bad, but many have called her out for pandering to her woke audience. In 2007, shortly after the final book was published, she announced that Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts' headmaster, was gay. After one man asked if there were any Jews at Hogwarts, she quickly replied that there was. But those revelations didn't create as huge an uproar as this one — why has it hit a nerve?

Here are a few reasons why people are protesting against this revelation that that Nagini is a woman.

1. The lack of diversity in Harry Potter

Yes, Harry Potter gave us Cho Chang and the Patil sisters, but they were basically side-characters who barely played a role in the franchise and didn't really get any character development. The Harry Potter universe could have done much better in terms of diversity, but this was not what fans had in mind.

As Twitter user @Supervinh47 wrote, creating a female Asian character who is "brainwashed, transfigured into a giant snake and kept as a pet/slave for 60 years by white male antagonists, then decapitated by a teenager" isn't exactly a step in the right direction.

"What did Asians do to JK Rowling? How did we hurt her to be portrayed like this?" @Supervinh47 added.

On the other hand, some people are just happy about simply having Asian representation in Hollywood — even if they don't play protagonists. As Twitter user Dawn Moore writes, "We can be villains too."

2. Nagini portrayed by a South Korean woman

Rowling explained that the reason why Nagini is Asian is because the Naga have a place in Indonesian mythology.

But Claudia Kim, as we've mentioned, is Korean, not Indonesian, Chinese, or Betawi. If Nagini was an Indonesian woman all along, shouldn't they have cast an Indonesian actress?

This issue of lumping Asian races together has long been plaguing Hollywood. But when there's very few Asian roles to begin with, limiting Asian actors to their own race does them a disservice. As Michelle Yeoh once said, "If I only get to play Malaysian roles, there wouldn't be very many roles for me to play."

It does seem that the team behind Fantastic Beasts 2 did try to cast an Indonesian actress. In an Instagram post from earlier this year, Indo actress and singer Acha Septriasa revealed that she passed on the chance to play Nagini because she was pregnant.

3. It doesn't feel authentic

In a series of tweets, JK Rowling claimed that she knew Nagini was a woman for twenty years, but for many fans, it doesn't feel that way.

"I don't have a problem with Nagini being a trapped Asian woman, if she were written that way from the start," writer Fonda Lee tweeted. "I don't believe for a second Rowling knew she was human all along. If she had, she would've made different choices in Books 1-7 so that we're all, 'Ahhh yes' instead of 'WTF???'"

Lee theorises that Rowling "got woke" and decided that she needed more diversity in her world. The problem with this, Lee explains, is that it doesn't feel organic.

Does it bother you that Nagini is a woman? Why/Why not? Let us know in the comments.

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