The Harry Potter Fandom Officially Canceled J.K. Rowling

Christopher Luu

After many of the actors from the Harry Potter film franchise — including stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson — distanced themselves from author J.K. Rowling's transphobic remarks, the online community is officially cutting ties with the author. According to Entertainment Weekly, fan sites MuggleNet and the Leaky Cauldron posted similar joint statements saying that Rowling remarks are in stark contrast to the messages of "acceptance" and "empowerment" in the established Harry Potter universe.

©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

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Moving forward, both sites will no longer cover Rowling's personal life, any awards that she may win or be nominated for, any philanthropic work, and any tweets or statements that do not have to do with the world of Harry Potter. Her name has been removed from both sites, and MuggleNet will no longer feature "fan art, memes, photos, or other images with J.K. Rowling’s likeness." To make the change easier, the sites decided that they would refer to Rowling as #JKR on Twitter so that the hashtag could be easily blocked and avoid any mention of her on their timelines.

"As this fandom enters its third decade, J.K. Rowling has chosen this time to loudly pronounce harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person," the statement reads. "In addition to the distaste we feel for her choice to publish these statements during Pride Month — as well as during a global reckoning on racial injustice — we find the use of her influence and privilege to target marginalized people to be out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community. Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused. Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs."

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The issue began last month, when Rowling responded to a story about healthcare inequality, "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate." She refused to accept the fact that trans men and non-binary individuals can and do have periods. Later, Rowling posted a 3,800-word essay that clarified her feelings, saying that she was the "victim of online abuse by activists." Many saw the essay as an effort for Rowling to double down on her previous statements.

"Transgender women are women," Radcliffe wrote in a post for the Trevor Project. "Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."

Watson also posted a tweet, writing, "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are." 

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