The BBC reportedly bends the knee to J.K. Rowling (again)

BBC to renew J.K. Rowling television adaptation
BBC to renew J.K. Rowling television adaptation

J.K. Rowling

The BBC is falling all over itself to stay in the J.K. Rowling business. Last month, the British Broadcasting Corporation apologized not once but twice for not challenging claims made on their programs that the Hogwarts Legacy game was connected to Rowling’s transphobia. Now, the network is “enthusiastic” about renewing Strike, the series based on Rowling’s adult novels, for a sixth season, reports Deadline. As of this writing, The BBC has not responded to The A.V. Club’s request for comment.

While the deal hasn’t been finalized, Deadline reports that the new season is set to adapt The Ink Black Heart, the latest novel in the detective series which focuses on—wouldn’t you know it!—a creator, whose work was criticized as racist, ableist, and transphobic, receiving online harassment. Rowling claims that this plot “genuinely wasn’t” a reflection of her own experiences and that she’d “written the book before certain things happened to me online,” though her public flirtation with transphobia dates back to 2018 and accusations of racism in the Harry Potter world have existed long before that. (Interestingly, 2018 also saw a specific rise of racism accusations regarding the character Nagini in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.)

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It’s kind of the BBC to give Rowling another platform through which to explore her own online persecution. Goodness knows the original novel and the ongoing podcast series The Witch Trials Of J.K. Rowling did not cover thoroughly enough all the ways the world’s most famous wealthy children’s book author is the true wronged party of the transgender debate.

Nevertheless, this is a television show adapted by someone other than Rowling (Ben Richards in the first series, and Tom Edge in the next four), and one which must enjoy a certain amount of popularity or the BBC would be a lot less “enthusiastic” about bringing it back. The author remains immune to controversy when it comes to putting money in other people’s pockets.

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