Harry Potter actress said she was told to deny facing racist attacks online
Katie Leung, who starred as Cho Chang, said she came across the racist comments on a website dedicated to the franchise's fandom.
Actress Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter films, has spoken up about having to deal with racist attacks online from the films’ fans when she was working on the popular franchise.
She also revealed on an episode of the podcast Chinese Chippy Girl on Monday (Mar 8) that she was told to deny that such attacks were happening if she was ever asked about them.
Leung said she started seeing racist messages from fans online after she was cast in Harry Potter And The Goblets Of Fire, which ran in 2005.
She said: “I was Googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which was kind of dedicated to the Harry Potter fandom. I remember reading all the comments. And, yeah, it was a lot of racist shit”.
However, she was told by publicists to deny that these attacks were taking place. On top of that, Leung, who was 16 at the time, was not given media training before doing interviews.
“I remember them saying to me, ‘Oh, look Katie, we haven’t seen these, these websites that people are talking about. And you know, if you get asked that, just say it’s not true. Say it’s not happening’”.
The actress, who is now 33, said: “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’”.
Leung added that she was “grateful” for being in the position she was in but “I keep saying, ‘Oh I wish I’d maybe said something’. But you can’t do that”.
She was in five Harry Potter films, namely, Goblet Of Fire, Order Of The Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and 2.