The new Harry Potter game, “Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Legacy” has become widely popular for magic, wizards, mystical creatures, and transphobia? Yes, transphobia has become a huge topic while discussing the Harry Potter game, but in a strange way. In Harry Potter and the Hogwarts Legacy game, there are no transphobic characters, and there is no mention of trans people in the game. Yet, trans people and their allies are trying to boycott the game for being transphobic. So why is that, then? Well, because of the writer of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, and how she is thought to be transphobic by the trans community. Yet even though she is being called transphobic by trans-people, fans still buy Harry Potter books, games, and clothing. This creates the question, can artists who are controversial with their opinions, be separated from their body of work? If the answer is ‘No’, then it is believed that fans have of that legacy of work have a responsibility to not buy the artist’s work in support of those who are marginalized by society.
Separating an artist from their work should be considered on a case-to-case scenario and can depend on the good or bad of what the person has done or made. Adolf Hitler, a man who is viewed as a monster, still has supporters who praise his work. Yet, no one should be honouring his legacy in any way, yet people still do. Kanye West, someone who has said awful things about Jewish people, has also said things supporting Nazi ideas. Yet his music is still loved, and he has 52 million monthly listeners. So J.K. Rowling’s work is equally beloved by a generation, but her work has been boycotted by the trans-community because of her beliefs and tweets.
The notion of J.K. Rowling being transphobic started with a tweet, which was a response to another person who was expressing their ally-ship of trans-people. “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Womben? Wimpund? Woomud? ” – This tweet was considered offensive by a majority of the trans community and their allies. “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” In this tweet by J.K. Rowling, she talks about trans-people and how we shouldn’t be erasing the concept of male and female only genders, which goes against trans ideas, and beliefs. J.K. Rowling has definitely said harmful things and should be called out for what she has said. Even though her tweets are considered inappropriate by some, there are people who disagree with cancelling her legacy and the Harry Potter franchise as a whole.
The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most beloved book franchises ever. The franchise has sold more than 500 million books worldwide and now has an official video game yet is being cancelled because of its creator’s controversial views. The message from the Harry Potter story is one of good vs. evil, and fighting those who abuse their power, along with acceptance of others, yet this could all be erased because of a few tweets from the creator. Some would say this is fair and the franchise should be cancelled, but the people who buy the game aren’t buying it because of what many consider transphobic views. They feel that they shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to play their favourite game, and have a burden placed on their shoulders, unable to enjoy their favourite franchise.
The consensus seems to be that people should be able to play the game without feeling shame or being called transphobic, though trans-people also should be able to express their own opinions and boycott the game and the Harry Potter franchise in protest of its creator’s comments.