Several news outlets learned of a Harry Potter series in development at HBO Max on Monday, but the immediate response from many fans was outrage at author J.K. Rowling. Rowling has a history of transphobia that has only escalated in recent years, causing many fans to turn their backs on her work. Many vowed not to watch any new shows that would benefit her financially.
Rowling has spoken out against transgender rights in recent years, and has only doubled down on those stances even when fans are disappointed in them. Last summer, the author posted a lengthy essay on her website defending her positions and citing some erroneous data for her fear that transgender rights would endanger cisgender women. Many fans had this in mind when they heard that a new Harry Potter series of some kind is in the works at HBO Max, according to a report by Variety. They also recalled that Rowling cannot be financially extricated from the franchise.
Rowling created a global sensation the likes of which is rarely seen from a single writer. From the books to the movies and beyond, Harry Potter easily rivals intellectual properties like Marvel Comics or Disney classics. What sets Harry Potter apart, however, is that Rowling has maintained a tight grip on the franchise both creatively and financially.
Therefore, fans are mindful of the fact that any support for a Harry Potter show would support Rowling herself, enabling her to continue pushing her controversial anti-transgender agenda. Some argue that Rowling's words carry real weight as well, such as in September of 2020 when the British government decided not to change its Gender Recognition Act to be more trans-inclusive.
Still, many fans find it hard to turn away entirely from a franchise that featured so heavily in their childhood. With a new Harry Potter project reportedly on the horizon, the backlash against Rowling may soon come to a head. Here is a look at what fans are saying now.
Okay see, there’s a difference between still being a Harry Potter fan/keeping your fandom mementos while also denouncing JK Rowling,
and this, which is ACTIVELY giving her MORE money and not showing her any real consequences for her repeatedly HARMFUL transphobia.
I’m tired. https://t.co/BcAR1DIbfe— steph 🍭 (@queermurphys) January 25, 2021
It’s time to do the “Stop enabling JK Rowling from getting royalties challenge” https://t.co/RvMvCM4Jlc— Barra | BLM (@ThatBmanGuy) January 25, 2021
*sees JK Rowling trending*
oh lordt what sort of daft nonsense about trans people is she spewing now.
*reads about harry potter live action series*
oh, you want me to watch something that's going to put MORE money in her pocket?
I think the fuck not.— ⚖️Imani Gandy ⚖️ (@AngryBlackLady) January 25, 2021
The coincidental timing on announce of the new live action Harry Potter show, JK Rowling trending, and the #transgender military ban being removed it...well. It's a thing.... pic.twitter.com/OceqU15gvO— Solar 🦋𝘈𝘒𝘈 𝘒𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘢🦋 (@AKAKorra) January 25, 2021
Harry Potter was the biggest part of my childhood and if it weren’t for the fact that JK Rowling is transphobic asshole I would be so excited for this but really.....who’s even going to watch this now? What’s the point? https://t.co/h5ImGzGcfc— sara clements @ #sundance (@mildredsfierce) January 25, 2021
"JK Rowling is weirdly obsessed with bathrooms" is a good way to sum up a lot of drama she's been in— Quinton Reviews 🎬 (@Q_Review) January 25, 2021
we don't want this we want a marauders series with no connection to jk rowling https://t.co/lAWiBvqWyH— mya (@DUNENATION) January 25, 2021
There was a time when I would have been elated, but please stop paying JK Rowling money. She uses her money to hurt the most vulnerable people in our society.
Instead might I recommend adapting “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell? Hogwarts vibes, but LGBTQ friendly! Do that! https://t.co/TD2WBdaHxU— carina adly mackenzie (@cadlymack) January 25, 2021
jk rowling trending again so let’s bring back ursula k le guin reading her for filth pic.twitter.com/XQpLKSkgoE— chesmal emry (@r1ddhima) January 25, 2021
Ppl underestimate how much damage Jk Rowling does. Her influence grows every time a new Harry Potter project is announced. Bcos of her huge influence a law was literally passed in the uk harming trans people. So yes, it is very much like she’s spreading anti-trans propaganda https://t.co/9gaYuUKoql— 𝕝𝕛𝕨𝕣 • Lewis 😷 (@ljwr_) January 25, 2021
Me tryna figure out a way JK Rowling gets nothing from this show pic.twitter.com/TYS9ZH3zRE— 𝒔𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒚☆ (@Neptune_Leo22) January 25, 2021
i wish cancel culture worked so we would stop hearing about jk rowling— dani strider (she/her) (@light__system) January 25, 2021
we really need to stop JK Rowling from getting royalties I don’t care what it takes pic.twitter.com/kx0U0IbwOv— 𝓢𝓽𝓮𝓿𝓲𝓮 (@fymSTEVE) January 25, 2021
JK Rowling will profit from any and all new Harry Potter-related media. If you spend money consuming that media, you are giving JK Rowling money. That's it. That's the tweet.— Elle M. (they/them) (@ellle_em) January 25, 2021
Really REALLY bugs me that there will be a new Harry Potter series where transphobe JK Rowling will get royalties, because I genuinely love the franchise and actively hate JK.— Book Jockey (@AngelaLovesNY) January 25, 2021