'Harry Potter' star Katie Leung says she was told to deny racist abuse

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·2 min read
British actor Daniel Radcliffe and actress Katie Leung, arrive in London's Leicester Square for the premier of their latest Harry Potter film, 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', Sunday Nov. 6, 2005. The film is to be released on Nov. 18, 2005 and is the fourth in the series of Harry Potter films based on the books by author J. K. Rowling.(AP Photo/ Max Nash)
Katie Leung and Daniel Radcliffe at the Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire premiere in 2005. (AP)

Harry Potter star Katie Leung has revealed she was targeted by racist trolls after being cast in the hit series – and claims she was told to deny it.

The actor was just 16 when she was cast as Cho Chang in the movies about JK Rowling’s boy wizard.

Speaking on the Chinese Chippy Girl podcast, she said that after she landed the role she read a lot of “racist s***” about herself, and even discovered a website devoted to how people disagreed with her being cast.

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"I was googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which was kind of dedicated to the kind of Harry Potter fandom," she said.

"I remember reading all the comments. And yes, it was a lot of racist s***."

Harry Potter co-stars, from left, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Katie Leung, pose for photographers at the United States premiere of the film
Harry Potter stars Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung in 2005. (AP)

Leung said she spoke to publicists about what she was seeing online.

She said: “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’.”

The actor said she agreed to say that everything was fine if she was questioned about it.

Actress Katie Leung arrives at the European Premiere of her new film 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix' at the Odean Cinema in Londons Leicester Square, Tuesday July 3, 2007 .(AP Photo/Anthony Harvey)
Katie Leung in 2007 (AP)

However, Leung has since had moments where she wishes she had addressed it in some way.

"I keep saying, 'Oh I wish I'd maybe said something'... but you can't do that, you know?" she explained.

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Leung, who is now 33, has also appeared in films such as The Foreigner and T2 Trainspotting and her television credits include Father Brown and The Nest.

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