The name of the character that Claudia Kim plays in the film was first revealed in the final trailer released on September 25. Since the details of her role were not revealed anywhere until that day, fans all around the world were curious to know the secret. The final trailer and the promotion video thus shocked fans worldwide.
However, J.K Rowling’s explanation on the character and its background story is raising controversy among fans. The controversy grew bigger when Rowling replied to the tweet that pointed out that suddenly including a Korean woman in the series for the lack of representation in her books is ‘garbage.’ Her reply was that Nagini’s character derived from an Indonesian myth and Indonesia is comprised of a few hundred ethnic groups including Chinese.
The Naga are snake-like mythical creatures of Indonesian mythology, hence the name ‘Nagini.’ They are sometimes depicted as winged, sometimes as half-human, half-snake. Indonesia comprises a few hundred ethnic groups, including Javanese, Chinese and Betawi. Have a lovely day 🐍— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) September 26, 2018
Fans were heightened over her reply. They pointed out that the word ‘Naga’ is actually from a Hindu myth, not an Indonesian one. Fans were also curious as to why Voldemort, who had an obsession for pureblood wizards and witches, would keep a female with a blood curse as his prized possession to safely hide a part of his soul. They also pointed out how problematic it is to giving the role of a white man’s passive and loyal pet to an Asian woman. Also, explaining that the role was given to a Korean woman because Indonesia comprises ethnic groups such as Chinese was seen as lack of cultural understanding and classification. The previous controversy over lack of diversity in the casting for the film also contributed to the current controversy.
Source: Naver (1, 2) via Soompi, Rowling's Twitter
I've been a fan for close to 2 decades now but I really wish Rowling would move on from Harry Potter already. I already lost interest in this film after Depp appeared and it went from finding out where these fantastic beasts came from to whatever the hell it is now.