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#AsiansForBlackLives: Harry Potter Star Responds to JK Rowling’s ‘Racist’ Name Choice

ORLANDO, FL – JANUARY 29: Actress Katie Leung attends the 3rd Annual Celebration Of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando on January 29, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

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    Chinese Scottish actor Katie Leung is winning praises on Twitter for her response regarding the “racist” choice of her character’s name in the “Harry Potter” series.

    Leung, who played Cho Chang in Warner Bros.’ movie adaptation — the only Asian character to ever share the spotlight with the Boy-Who-Lived — broke her silence over the weekend as author J.K. Rowling faced a new wave of backlash for “anti-trans” tweets.


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    Roses are red, violets are blue… Oh look, here’s a photo of my face. Happy Validation-tines’ Day! ❤️💋🌹

    A post shared by Katie Leung (@_katieleung_) on

    Some fans have reportedly speculated for years that Rowling might be transphobic — an accusation that intensified in December after the 54-year-old author voiced support to a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) involved in a precedent-setting court case.

    On Saturday, she sparked outrage once again after posing a “question” in response to an opinion article titled “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

    “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” Rowling noted. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

    The tweet, which some interpreted as a dismissal of trans women, is the first in a series in which the author defended the “reality” of “sex.” This led to a number of users accusing her of transphobia, and tangentially, of racism for naming an Asian character “Cho Chang.”

    Katie Leung played Cho Chang in the “Harry Potter” films. Image via Warner Bros.

    Leung apparently took notice of tweets calling out Rowling for her character. However, instead of addressing the matter, the 32-year-old actor used the opportunity to express her support as an Asian for Black Lives — particularly for Black trans women.

    “So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes,” Leung started a thread, which consisted solely of links to organizations helping Black trans charities.

    Leung ended the thread with the hashtag #AsiansForBlackLives.

    For opposing both racism and transphobia in just a few words, Leung unsurprisingly received praise from many users.

    “Katie really went ‘Avada Kedavra’ on racism and transphobia,” wrote “The Umbrella Academy” star Justin H. Min, referencing the death spell from “Harry Potter.”

    Others have hailed her a “queen,” with one user crowning her Ravenclaw’s Diadem:

    Meanwhile, some users have also compared Rowling to “Percy Jackson” author Rick Riordan, who happens to be a vocal supporter of trans rights.

    Feature Images via @_katieleung_ (left) and S.macken6 (right; CC BY-SA 4.0)

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