The debate regarding controversial author JK Rowling continues. In light of the 20th-anniversary reunion, Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts, many have been theorizing if Rowling would be making an appearance or not. It had been established for some time that Rowling’s appearance in the reunion would only be in archival footage. But in a shocking turn of events, it appears that this decision wasn’t determined by the producers of the show at all. In fact, Rowling was extended an invitation to join the reunion, despite her contentious views. According to Entertainment Weekly, the best-selling author and her team “determined the archived comments from the writer were adequate.” EW also states that this archival footage is “used sparingly.”
While sources close to JK Rowling maintain that this decision was not due to her public statements on her opinions of the trans community, it is difficult not to see a connection. Rowling has continued to spread opinions about how she views trans women. Because of her comments she has been called by many, including comedian Dave Chappelle, a ‘TERF’ or Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. These comments are viewed as transphobic as Rowling consistently pushes her agenda that trans women are not actually women (per NBC News). In the past her views have been defended by comedian Dave Chappelle who has been the subject of criticism over his Netflix special where he shared similar views (via USA Today).
JK Rowling has refused to back down from these public statements. Rowling stated on social media that despite her death threats, she will continue to speak her ideals. And this has had an impact on how she is regarded professionally. Publications have started to distance themselves from her.
Recently it seemed as though JK Rowling would be the winner of The Guardian’s person of the year award. But in a hasty decision, the outlet pulled the poll and rescinded the award, which was voted on by audiences. There is no confirmation as of yet if this has to do with the decision regarding her appearance in Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts, but it is quite a coincidence if not. This has turned into a long and storied saga that seems to have no end in sight. Many actors related to Harry Potter have disavowed Rowling’s comments. Rupert Grint disagreed with Rowling’s stance in an article for Esquire.
Even with all of this bad publicity, the author is still reaping the rewards of her incredibly successful fantasy series. She continues to be associated with Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. However, The Hollywood Reporter has noticed that her credit in the new Fantastic Beasts trailer is minimal at best, while her name used to be in large letters. JK Rowling is sure to remain relevant as long as new generations enjoy Harry Potter. Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts is a big draw for nostalgic fans and her connection to the property is unavoidable. With being in the spotlight, many celebrities are being noticed for their opinions. But Harry Potter proves to have longevity because of its themes of love and acceptance. Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts is sure to push this message when it airs on HBO Max New Year’s Day.