It has been a tough few weeks for the Harry Potter fandom as fans react to the controversial statements make by J.K. Rowling.
Since December 2019, J.K. Rowling has become more publicly outspoken on her Twitter about her personal beliefs on trans people. Then on June 10th, after receiving public criticism regarding another round of offensive tweets, J.K Rowling published a statement defending her beliefs on her website.
Since then, three of the largest Harry Potter fan communities have released statements on how they will treat J.K. Rowling going forward.
On June 15th, MuggleCast released “Episode #469: Why J.K. Rowling Is Wrong About Trans People” in which the hosts were joined by Dr. Sarah Steelman (Marriage & Family Therapist, Ph.D., LMFT) to discuss J.K. Rowling’s recent tweets and open letter regarding trans people. They reviewed her statements and discussed why so many of them are wrong, share responses from around the Harry Potter community, and analyze their own feelings. They also shared that they would be reducing their coverage of Rowling.
The Harry Potter fandom has been going strong for more than 20 years, and we are so proud to have been there alongside so many, celebrating, learning, and growing together.
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. 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, we must reject her beliefs.
We have seen countless people use the Potter books and fanfic to explore their own identities while spreading love and acceptance. We know that this is still possible, and we know that we want to continue to be part of that movement. We are committed to doing better work in our community to uplift and center the people who have been marginalized and create positive change from within our fandom platforms.
Each of the websites and the podcasts have listed the new policies on how they cover J.K. Rowling. Notably, two have committed to stop covering any projects she does outside of the Wizarding World.
You can see a complete list of coverage changes on their respective websites.