Harry Potter franchise fans were in a treat when the Warner Bros. released the final trailer of the upcoming movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The trailer gave the fans a glimpse of what they can expect from the upcoming film showcasing the life of different wizards. In addition to several jaw-dropping moments, the trailer revealed, for the first time, the human portrayal of Tom Riddle's Nagini.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald's final trailer featured Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) and Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller). In addition to these actors, the released trailer also showed young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), Leta Lestrange (Zoe Kravitz), and Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp).
In the trailer, Credence is shown in a circle and a performer contorts herself as he whispers, "Nagini" to her. Within seconds, the woman transforms herself into a snake, which in later years would become Lord Voldemort's Horcrux. The presence of Nagini in the film is surely going to be enticing, as the character may present an arc as how she went on to become Voldemort's favorite pet. However, the casting of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is facing accusations of racism.
After the trailer was released, several Harry Potter fans suggested that it's problematic to cast an Asian actress in the role of a cursed woman who would eventually become Voldemort's slave. Several fans took to Twitter to share their disdain. Check out few such tweets:
wait so nagini is being played by an asian woman and she like.... becomes voldemort's '''pet'''???? is she.... is she a Fantastic Beast newt must Find???? oh this is bad. this is very very bad— ✍️ (@neonacropolis) September 25, 2018
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.— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) September 25, 2018
I feel like this is the problem when white people want to diversify and don't actually ask POC how to do so. They don't make the connection between making Nagini an Asian woman who later on is the pet of a white man. So I'm going to say it right now. That shit is racist.— Ellen "Call Me General" Oh (@ElloEllenOh) September 25, 2018
"Let's retroactively turn a woman of color into a literal object owned by a white man inspired by Nazis," one person wrote on Twitter. "There are only two Asian women in Harry Potter franchise, Cho Chang and now NAGINI?" wrote another.
Furthermore, J. K. Rowling has reportedly made several changes to the Harry Potter series, including the revelation that Albus Dumbledore was gay. Rowling also stated in one of her tweets that Nagini is not an Animagus, but a Maledictus.
After several backlashes surfaced over the casting of Credence Barebone, J. K. Rowling took to Twitter to respond to all the hatred.
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 ?— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 26, 2018
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released worldwide on November 16, 2018.