Harry Potter’s Katie Leung Claims Publicists Advised Her To Deny She Was Target Of Racist Attacks
Katie Leung, who was 16 when she was cast as Cho Chang in the film franchise, said she found racist comments about her on ‘Harry Potter’ fansites.
Katie Leung has claimed publicists told her to deny she had been targeted with online racial abuse when she had joined the Harry Potter cast.
The 33-year-old actress — who played Harry's love interest Cho Chang in four of the movies, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows — Part Two — recalls reading "a lot of racist s***" about herself as well as finding a "hate site" containing a poll of people who "disagreed" with her casting.
Speaking on the Chinese Chippy Girl podcast, Katie — whose parents are immigrants from Hongkong and moved to the UK when they were teenagers — said: "I was like, Googling myself at one point and I was on this website which was dedicated to kind of Harry Potter fandom and I remember reading all the comments. It was a lot of racist s***.
"And then 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 ... I know, it's awful. It's so awful.
"I remember speaking to the publicists ... I didn't get any kind of interview, media training before I was doing these interviews and 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.'
"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.' "
Katie — who didn't say who the publicists worked for — admitted she was "grateful" to be starring in the film franchise, but wished she had spoken up.
She added: "Of course, I was grateful. I was really very f****** grateful that I was in the position I was in.
"I keep saying, like, 'Oh I wish I'd maybe said something.' But you can't do that." — BANG
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