So, I read this Bustle article that gave me a final push to raise this topic. After the final trailer of Fantastic Beasts sequel was released, Bustle summarized the mood of some HP fans on Nagini character. Her appearance was peeked in a movie trailer and played no longer than for 2 seconds. However, that was obviously enough time to get some buzz going and launch a much-discussed topic on Twitter and other social media platforms carrying the one and only hateful message: How dare you, J. K. Rowling, be such a racist!
A surprisingly unexpectable statement, don’t you think?
If you say so…
DIDN’T INCLUDE ENOUGH REPRESENTATION? That’s just a twist for another story. What is wrong about it? Did you want Rowling to write about EVERYTHING even though it wasn’t vital for the HP developments?
Again. If it was foreshadowed, how it could help the story in the first place? Was it a major thing then? It IS now though!
Will it be acceptable if Nagini were Eastern European woman? How about Indian or Mexican? No racism in this case? Let’s just eliminate her character to avoid any discrimination.
The author is blamed in an unclear cultural profile of Nagini, filming a Korean woman as a submissive and oppressed character that was subordinated by a white man Voldemort and beheaded by a white boy Neville, and trying to fix a very white wizarding world retroactively.
If your aim to piqué something, you can always find a way.
I am wondering, what race could be a perfect fit for such a character? If the actress who plays Nagini had another origin could it be less discussed by the public and never called racism? Do the fans prefer to omit such a major twist and leave a snake just a snake? I’m personally very excited and intrigued by Nagini character and want to hear her story anyway.
Some of the accusations don’t have a point and are built on the assumptions and readers’ opinions. Besides, it was not enough to find racism in 2 seconds of a trailer but also blame Rowling that she created a WHITE, STRAIGHT and CISGENDER world. How dare you, Rowling! You were writing books for kids in the first place! Why didn’t you think about putting the whole list of raw society topics? Why haven’t you made clear that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had a love affair many moons ago for an 8-year girl (e.g., me) who wasn’t so lucky to live in a free country where LGBTG, feminism, racism, sexism and other topics are highly discussed at a family dinner table never mind the age of the present. Because if you DO mind the age that will be ageism!
Why haven’t you specified that Hermione could be an Afro-girl, and created a full list of all-religion holidays celebrated in Hogwarts? That is such vital information! It’s all mixed up and unclear without it.
Where do the enlightening plotwise end and reasonable boundaries appear? Why, to please every caste, every society level, the author should write about EVERYTHING that bothers the world in a story with a completely different plot? Why must the writer be afraid to be accused of discrimination just because putting a gay couple into the kids’ book didn’t seem a perfect decision?
My head pops up with all these questions. I am appalled and confused. I often get tired of reading a story that describes all the problems at once. Is it a new kind of fashion to create characters of all ages, ethnicity, skin colors, religious beliefs, and gender preference? Like Cassandra Clare does in the Shadowhunter series. She mastered it ALL, but she wrote – how many?- not less than 17 books. She has a whole playground field for the imagination run wild and let’s admit, her books are not the kind of literature the mom will give an 8-year boy for reading.
Let’s summarize my scattered thoughts.
- I cannot come out with a number of problematic topics that a book can raise, but they don’t have to affect the plot, narration, world-building, character storyline, and adequacy.
- I want the books to be divided by genres, not to be a hodgepodge. If I pick a read about feminism, I want to be within this theme. Otherwise, I could pick a book on another topic and be happy about it.
- I observe that lots of people are always eager to express their unasked opinions to increase their engagement, create controversy or just because they all are upstarts and can’t keep it inside. Please, do not fall into that number.
- Brevity is the soul of wit. All the questions left after reading could be supplemented by reader’s fantasy, fanfiction or a sequel. No need to through accusations into the air if you are confused by the outcome or don’t see a full picture.
- The work of imagination can never be fixed, retroactively or not. Imagination is not what one must fix but only evolve.