Why J.K. Rowling can’t hide behind Harry Potter.

While the beloved author may have penned the most popular children’s book series in the world, her views on race, gender, and culture leave a bad taste in many fans’ mouths.

Why J.K. Rowling can’t hide behind Harry Potter.

In 1997, children fell in love with Harry Potter, a character that needs no introduction. The series published seven books before its long-awaited finale in 2007; a decade after its premiere. Since then, eight movies have been made based on the books as well as a sister film franchise, Fantastic Beasts, which has three movies released as of the end of 2022. J.K. Rowling was nothing short of beloved. That was until she decided to show her true colors.

In 2019, a woman named Maya Forstater claimed she lost her job at the Centre for Global Development, an anti-poverty think tank, because of tweets the center deemed transphobic and hateful. (She didn’t actually ‘lose her job’ because she wasn’t an employee. She was a contracted worker; her contract was simply not renewed.) One such tweet stated that trans women’s feelings on their own gender “had no basis in material reality,” as well as comparing trans women to a white woman who believed herself to be black.

The Centre for Global Development enacted their right to distance themselves from someone who didn’t share their views, but Maya took it to court claiming that her tweets were protected speech.

J.K. Rowling then took the liberty of defending Maya, tweeting out, “dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like… But force women out of their jobs for claiming that sex is real?” followed by the hashtags ‘IStandWithMaya,’ and ‘ThisIsNotADrill.’ J.K. Rowling standing with an open transphobe was obviously a shock to many people, especially her gender-diverse fans.

Following this, many fans of Rowling decided to look deeper into her work and found some less-than-favorable material. One character in the Harry Potter series, and one of the three Asian characters in the series, was named Cho Chang and implied to be of Chinese descent. This angered many fans, as both ‘Cho’ and ‘Chang’ are surnames, of Korean and Chinese culture, respectively. She also named one of the only Black characters in the series Kingsley Shacklebolt, which some fans thought was an allure to slavery. Rowling also went to the extent of appropriating mythology from around the world to fit into her universe. She claimed that skinwalkers, evil beings in Navajo culture, were actually witches and wizards that transform into animals. This angered some Native Americans, who accused Rowling of appropriating their culture by lumping Native Americans into one group.

Rowling also tried to add diversity to the Harry Potter series years after its conclusion by claiming that Albus Dumbledore was gay and that Hermione Granger was Black, despite there being no mention of Dumbledore’s sexuality, and it contradicts a passage in The Prisoner of Azkaban that describes Hermione’s face as white. In 2014, Rowling pointed out a character called Anthony Goldstein, a member of Ravenclaw House that she claimed was Jewish, despite it never being mentioned in the books, nor any characters of Jewish decent at all.
Despite her many controversies, Warner Brothers, who produced the Wizarding World film franchise, and Universal Studios and also produced those films and runs The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando, have refused to cut ties with someone they claim goes against their values, for the simple reason that she makes them too much money.

J.K. Rowling is a sad, mean, vindictive woman. She plays the victim whenever anyone calls her out for her bigotry, racism, and hatred, and she makes millions of dollars in the meantime. And with Hogwarts Legacy, a blockbuster video game taking place in the Harry Potter universe just over the horizon, her fortune is sure to grow. But it’s clear that someone so racist and hateful doesn’t deserve it, so instead of buying Hogwarts Legacy, play something that’s made by someone that isn’t a racist, transphobic bigot who thrives off mocking and targeting minorities, like Terraria.