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"Harry Potter" Actor Katie Leung Claims That Publicists Told Her To Deny That She Was Experiencing Racist Attacks While Filming

"I was so in denial of what was happening."

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 Cho was announced — and that she was told by publicists to deny they were happening.

Daniel Radcliffe. and Leung holding a wand together as Rupert Grint stands next to them 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 — who was cast in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when she was 16 — recalled. "I remember reading all the comments. And yeah, it was a lot of racist shit."

Daniel Radcliffe, Chris Rankin, and Katie Leung standing in front of a roaring fireplace 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 — 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

She said, "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 kissing 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 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 looking pensive in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Entertainment Weekly points out that this isn't the first time Leung has talked about facing racist attacks because she played Cho: 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

She added, "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 with snow-capped mountains behind her in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

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