Katie Leung Opens Up About Racist Comments She Received After Being Cast in “Harry Potter”
Katie Leung, who portrayed the role of Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films, recently appeared on the Chinese Chippy Girl podcast to talk about her most recent projects. She teased a project that she’s currently working on, and we can’t wait to hear more about that in the near future. Leung also opened up about some of the hate she received when she first joined the Wizarding World in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
When she was cast as Cho Chang, Leung was incredibly grateful for the opportunity, but soon after, fans started to attack her online.
I was googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which was dedicated to the ‘Harry Potter’ fandom. I remember reading all the comments. And yeah, it was a lot of racist s—.
She even stumbled upon a website that was specifically dedicated to protesting her portraying the role of Cho Chang. Being only 16 at the time, and with no media training to help her navigate interviews, she turned to a publicist to ask for help and was promptly told to deny that these racist attacks were happening.
I remember them saying to me, ‘Oh, look, Katie, we haven’t seen these, these websites that people are talking about. And if you get asked that, just say it’s not true, say it’s not happening.’ And I just nodded my head. I was like, ‘Okay, okay,’ even though I had seen it myself with my own eyes. I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, I’ll just say everything’s great.
Having to deal with racist comments at such a young age couldn’t have been easy, and Leung handled it the only way she knew how at the time.
Looking back, I can’t remember much about that part of it because I was so in denial of what was happening. I put it to the back of my mind. I don’t know if that is the best way to deal with it, but that is naturally what I did in order to move on and be a good actor.
If you’d like to hear more about everything Leung shared, you can listen to the episode of Chinese Chippy Girl.