‘Harry Potter’ Actor Katie Leung Said She Was Told To Deny Receiving Racist Attacks Online
Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter franchise, recently opened up about receiving racist attacks while filming the movies.
Leung discussed her experience while guest starring on the podcast Chinese Chippy Girl. She said she started receiving racist comments as 16 years old, shortly after her first casting in 2005 in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
“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 s—,” she said.
Leung continued to play Chang in the next four Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2.
She said she did not receive any advice or guidance from publicists about how to do interviews or how to handle the comments she was receiving.
“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,’” she 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 said the comments really affected her, adding, “because I’m 16, I’m a teenager, I care what people in school think of me, let alone what the world thinks!”
“I was really f——- grateful that I was in the position I was in,” Leung added. “I keep saying, ‘Oh I wish I’d maybe said something.’ But you can’t do that.”
After Harry Potter, Leung went on to act in movies such as Locked Down and The Foreigner and TV shows such as The Nest, White Dragon and Chimerica.