People Are Debating Whether ‘Harry Potter’ Character Names Perpetuate Cultural Stereotypes

People generally love “Harry Potter,” the magical book series featuring young witches and wizards written by J.K. Rowling.

But every now and then, people take issue with a few of Rowling’s choices. Well, maybe a bit more these days than usual, actually. But we’re not going to get into ALL the issues. We’re just going to get into one issues: NAMES.

Lately, readers have been taking Rowling to task for how she chooses the names of her characters, claiming that she’s perpetuating cultural stereotypes with some characters’ names.

Here’s the Tweet that started it all. It’s from Astead Wesley, a reporter for the New York Times, who took issue with Rowling’s name for one of the main Asian characters in the series.

Other people piled on, pointing out that Rowling also picked some pretty stereotypical names for Indian character:

And then there’s her descriptions of some characters:

Some people came to Rowling’s defense, arguing that people are just hunting for instances of racism and cultural insensitivity in the books:

And that no matter what Rowling did, she just couldn’t win:

Others just didn’t event want to go there:

It’s hard to know exactly what process Rowling used to come up with the names of her characters. Unless she spills the beans, we’ll never know for sure what thought she did and did not put into avoiding or perpetuating cultural stereotypes, it seems.

What do you think about this debate? How do you feel about Rowling’s names?

Let us know in the comments!