Recently, college student Rachel Rostad released her spoken word piece “A Letter to JK Rowling from Cho Chang” and as expected, she was bombarded with responses. Some argued angrily that she was being too harsh on Rowling and ignored Rowling’s very progressive points. Others argued that Rostad was merely calling attention to the bigger picture at hand.
I found myself torn throughout the entire video. Half the time I snapped along and applauded her. Although I am a very devoted Harry Potter fan, I was proud that she was calling attention to matters that ought to be evaluated and that she was sparking a dialogue. Then the other half of me cringed at some of the things she was saying. I understood her intent and yet I disagreed with the manner that some of the topics were approached- even with the way she phrased certain arguments.
Luckily for me and others who shared my sentiments, she released a response video. This time, she receives a standing ovation from me. She clarified the various points I found fuzzy, she apologized for some of the mistakes she made (pointing out that she learned from her mistakes and she’s happy because as a community we ought to be held accountable for calling one another out when necessary), and she defended her actions by pointing out that she created a space where this dialogue could happen. Her critique, she explains, is not of JK Rowling, but rather the representation (or misrepresentation I should say) of Asian women. Check it out for yourself and let us know what you think by commenting below: