In a March blog post from Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, project manager Chris Moore slammed Rowling for her “hateful” comments and announced how the museum would proceed with Harry Potter related displays.
“There’s a certain cold, heartless, joy-sucking entity in the world of Harry Potter and, this time, it is not actually a Dementor,” the post began. Primarily centering on her transphobic commentary, the post also references the myriad of related complaints leveled at the author, including “the support of antisemitic creators, the racial stereotypes that she used while creating characters, the incredibly white wizarding world, the fat shaming, the lack of LGBTQIA+ representation, the super-chill outlook on the bigotry and othering of those that don’t fit into the standard wizarding world, and so much more.”
Dave Benett/WireImage J.K. Rowling
Reps for the author did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.
In the wake of the controversy, the Museum of Pop Culture curators decided to remove Rowling’s name and likeness from various galleries to “reduce her impact.” The blog post adds that “it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s what we were able to do in the short-term while determining long-term practices.”
Though memorabilia from the Harry Potter films is still included in the “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic” gallery, the author is no longer cited in the exhibit.
“While the Harry Potter series is a major player in the pop culture sphere, we wanted to give credit to the work of the actors, prop makers, and costume designers in our Fantasy gallery,” the post explained. “We learned that You-Know-Who was a problem, which is why you’ll see the artifacts without any mention or image of the author.”
Rowling has long been criticized by LGBTQIA+ organizations and members of her own fan base for reiterating hurtful rhetoric that is tied to the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminists) movement, which posits the belief that trans women are not women.
In a recent interview, she claimed that “a ton of Potter fans were still with me” and that they were “grateful that I’d said what I said.”
“My position is that I am absolutely upholding the positions that I took in Potter,” she continued. “My position is that this activist movement, in the form that it’s currently taking, echoes the very thing that I was warning against in Harry Potter.”
Various actors who starred in the Harry Potter movies have also spoken out against Rowling’s views, including Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe. The actor shared a statement via The Trevor Project in June 2020 denouncing her rhetoric around trans issues, and has doubled down on his stance that “trans women are women.”
Two years later, Radcliffe explained why he felt compelled to respond to Rowling’s comments.”Particularly since finishing Potter, I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” he said. “And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”
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