Harry Potter’s J.K. Rowling Doubles Down On Controversial Views, Addresses Fans Who Have Boycotted The Franchise

J.K. Rowling in old footage for the Harry Potter Reunion
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

There are popular book franchises, and then there's Harry Potter. The Wizarding World has been entertaining audiences for decades, and is showing no signs of slowing down thanks to movies, video games, stage plays, and theme parks. But some of the folks that grew up on Harry's adventures through Hogwarts have actually boycotted the franchise as a whole, due to J.K. Rowling's controversial comments about transgender women. And the acclaimed author has seemingly double downed on her views, while also addressing fans who have abandoned the franchise. 

The Harry Potter franchise elicits strong feelings from fans, especially those who felt like outsiders as young people, and therefore identified with Harry and his friends at Hogwarts. This is partly why so many have been outraged by J.K. Rowling's comments about gender and sex as they related to the trans community. Her current controversies will be explored in a forthcoming audio documentary by The Free Press, with Rowling herself participating. In the trailer for the doc, she was quoted saying:

I never set out to upset anyone. However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal. And what has interested me over the last ten years, and certainly in the last few years - the last two, three years - particularly on social media: 'You've ruined your legacy.' 'Oh, you could have been beloved forever, but you chose to say this.' And I think, 'You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.

There you have it. It looks like J.K. Rowling is resolute on the comments she's made about gender and sex. What's more, she doesn't seem all too concerned about the Harry Potter fans who were disappointed in the way she's used her platform. And regarding her future legacy, only time will tell how things ultimately shake out between Rowling and her fans (past and present).

As previously mentioned, this quote from Rowling comes from a trailer for an audio documentary titled "The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling," which will focus on the ongoing controversy surrounding the titular writer. While there's been plenty of discourse surrounding her views about sex and gender, this will seemingly be focused on her perspective of the events. And smart money says plenty of moments are going to go viral as a result.

The conversation surrounding J.K. Rowling dates back to 2020, where she made some controversial statements about gender, which many found to be transphobic. This led various figures from the Wizarding World to speak out in opposition, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne. Although she's also gotten support from certain organizations as well as other cast members like Helena Bonham Carter and Voldemort himself Ralph Fiennes, who take umbrage with the online hate thrown at Rowling.

Regardless, J.K. Rowling continues to have a relationship with Warner Bros., with the studio recently affirming its commitment to further collaboration. While the Fantastic Beats franchise's future remains unclear, the Wizarding World is once again at the top of pop culture thanks to the recently released Hogwarts Legacy game. Be sure to check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.