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You know Katie Leung from the Harry Potter film series, in which she portrayed Cho Chang.

Katie Leung in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

On a recent episode of the Chinese Chippy Girl podcast, Leung claimed that she faced racist attacks after her role as Chang was announced β€” and that she was told by publicists to deny they were happening.

Rupert Grint, Daniel Racdliffe, and Leung in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

“I was, like, googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which was kind of dedicated to the kind of Harry Potter fandom,” Leung β€” who was cast in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when she was 16 β€” recalled. “I remember reading all the comments. And yeah, it was a lot of racist shit.”

Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Rankin, and Katie Leung in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Murray Close / Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

Leung claims she even found a “hate site” dedicated to her β€” but when she talked to publicists about it, “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.'”

Robert Pattinson and Katie Leung in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

“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.'”

Radcliffe and Leung in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

Leung also says she was “really fucking grateful” to be part of the film franchise, but that the position she was put in was difficult in its own way: “I keep saying, like, ‘Oh I wish I’d maybe said something.’ But you can’t do that.”

Leung in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Warner Brothers / courtesy Everett Collection

Entertainment Weekly points out that this isn’t the first time Leung’s talked about facing racist attacks because of her playing Cho Chang: In a 2016 interview with The Herald, she claimed, “I can’t remember much about that part of it because I was so in denial of what was happening.”

Leung in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

“I put it to the back of my mind. I don’t know if that is the best way to deal with it, but that is naturally what I did in order to move on and be a good actor.”

Leung in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Warner Bros / courtesy Everett Collection

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