The upcoming television reboot of the fantasy franchise was confirmed by HBO earlier this month (April 12), and will be the first-ever series based on the iconic books. As reported by Bloomberg, each season of the series is set to be based on one of Rowling’s seven main entries in the Harry Potter series.
However, while some fans rejoiced at the forthcoming show, others were quick to speak out against the project due to the author’s previous remarks aimed at the transgender community.
The comments were first made public in 2020 when the author took to Twitter to write a series of “anti-trans” tweets, which called out an article’s use of the phrase “men who menstruate”. Following the comments, a number of people have called for a boycott of the show, due to Rowling’s involvement.
Sharing her response to the planned boycott, the author took to social media on Friday (April 21), and sarcastically labelled the efforts as “dreadful news”, as well as saying she is taking “precautions”.
“Dreadful news, which I feel duty bound to share,” she wrote. “Activists in my mentions are trying to organise yet another boycott of my work, this time of the Harry Potter TV show. As forewarned is forearmed, I’ve taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne.”
Dreadful news, which I feel duty bound to share. Activists in my mentions are trying to organise yet another boycott of my work, this time of the Harry Potter TV show. As forewarned is forearmed, I've taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) April 21, 2023
When asked by The Independent if he thinks the author’s involvement will hinder the series earlier this month, Max and HBO Content Head Casey Bloys declined to comment on the issue. “That’s a very online conversation,” he told the publication. “Very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into.”
Plans to boycott projects involving JK Rowling were also seen this January, following the release of Hogwarts Legacy – a video game adaptation of the wizarding world. Following his involvement in the game, Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft addressed the controversy involved, writing: “I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views.”
He continued: “I believe wholeheartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men. I know far more now than I did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3. I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T.”
Previously, stars of the film adaptation of her series, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, spoke publicly against the comments made by Rowling.
The latter penned an essay challenging her views, which stated that “transgender women are women” and “any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people”. Grint also discussed his criticism of Rowling in an interview with The Times. “I do think it’s still important to stand up for what you believe in, and for people and communities that need our support and love,” he said. “That’s why I spoke out last year, I wanted to get some kindness out there.”
The actors starred in the Warner Bros. film adaptations of the books between the period of 2001 and 2011. In total, the eight films generated $7.7billion at the global box office. Following their conclusion – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – several spin-off films have been made, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.