Boris Johnson race gaffe? London mayor tells Chinese Harry Potter’s Scottish lover Cho Chang was a foreigner
BORIS Johnson entered stage left and went into his usual act of being a hapless music hall entertainer stumbling upon sound policy. The London Mayor, for it is he, was appearing as Bozza at Peking University. In an effort to cement Sino-Anglo relations he noted that Harry Potter’s lover was Chinese:
…according to JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, was Harry Potter’s first girlfriend? Who is the first person he kisses? That’s right, Cho Chang – who is a Chinese overseas student at Hogwarts school.
Ladies and gents I rest my case. I don’t think I need to argue any further, that is the future of Britain and of London.
Cho Chang. She’s the foreign bird with the foreign name. Well, Boris assumes she’s foreign. Only, she isn’t. Sticking with the world of fiction, Cho Chang was immortalised in film by Katie Leung. She was born in Motherwell, Lanarkshire.
This is how she got the job:
The casting criteria were that the successful actress should be 16 and of Oriental appearance – two qualifications Katie happened to fit at the time. “Is there anyone here from Scotland?” asked the casting director at the start of the audition, and only Leung raised her hand.
Not China, then. Cho Chang is British.
If Boris is going to drum up business with China, he’d be wiser to keep his mind in the real world and keep the Anglo-Chinese community onside by not misrepresenting them as foreigners.