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Harry Potter’s Katie Leung having to pretend she didn't face racism is more common than we think

As the anti-Asian and Asian American discrimination persists, news recently broke of Harry Potter actress Katie Leung (who played Cho Chang) detailing her experiences of the racial abuse she faced while a part of the franchise.

Harry Potter’s Katie Leung having to pretend she didn't face racism is more common than we think

Katie Leung as Cho Chang in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix"

Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

From Teen Vogue's newly appointed EIC, Alexi McCammond, to Florida-based rapper Gunplay, this week has been one hell of a ride when it comes to anti-Asian rhetoric.

As the anti-Asian and Asian American discrimination process, news recently broke of Harry Potter actress Katie Leung (who played Cho Chang) detailing her experiences of the racial abuse she faced while apart of the franchise.


On Monday, the Scottish-based actress, who is only around 13-years-old at the time of filming, spoke about her experiences when people caught wind of her casting to the media on the Chinese Chippy Girl podcast.

"I was like, googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which just kind of dedicated to the Harry Potter fandom, and I remember reading all the comments. It was a lot of racist s***, " Leung said.

It even got to a point where it wasn't just adverse comments about her— people created a whole website dedicated to bashing her, which isn't cool.

"Somebody had actually created a website, a hate site — it was like, if you disagree with this casting, then click on this button and then it would just be like a count of how many people disagreed with the casting, and you would just see a number," she said. "I know, it's awful. It's so awful."

Due to the bullying getting out of hand, she sought help from a publicist.

The tweet that made me think of the realities of racial insensitivity in the guise of jokes conversations.indy100.com

"I remember them saying to me, 'Oh look, Katie, we haven't seen these websites that people are talking about. And if you get asked, then just say it's not true. Say it's not happening," she said.

Just because they didn't see the bullying doesn't mean that it wasn't occurring; she was young and had to endure and see these hurtful things with her own eyes, only to be convinced not to say anything.

Sometimes, when people seek help about things when it has to do with the emotional pain caused by attacking race, identity, and representation, it can get overlooked.

This can be true especially if a company or group of people want to avoid specific attention that could impede their agenda.

It makes me believe that the well-being and mental health of those aiding her in fulfilling the magical world we have come to know isn't really relevant.

You can't turn a blind eye to everything in the name of appearance.

Have you got something to say? Want to share your experiences with the world? Submit a post to Conversations for the chance to see your writing here.

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