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.
“I was Googling myself at one point, and I was on this website, which was kind of dedicated to the Harry Potter fandom. I remember reading all the comments. And, yeah, it was a lot of racist s**t,” she said in the podcast.
Leung, who is of Chinese descent, was born in Scotland. She said that she was only 16 when she was cast in the Harry Potter films and had no media training before doing interviews. She recalled about her publicists asking her to deny that the racist attacks were happening.
“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,’” 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.’”
Warner Bros Pictures hasn’t issued a statement about this yet.