While criticism of JK Rowling’s remarks continues to resurface, actress Evanna Lynch has stepped forward in support of the author.
Now, Rowling may have created the beloved Harry Potter universe, but she hasn’t fallen short of controversy – especially when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.
So much so, that many threatened to boycott the latest Harry Potter themed video game, Hogwarts Legacy.
But first lets go back to where it all began. What started out as a mere musing while stuck on a delayed train in London, 1990, led to a young Joanne Rowling conjuring up the magical story of Harry Potter.
Thirty years since it’s creation, over 500 million copies of the book franchise have been sold worldwide in eighty different languages, making it one of the best-selling book series of all time.
The adventures of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger were quick to capture a vast and loyal fanbase, with children and adults alike being instantly captivated by the novel.
So, of course, it didn’t take long for the movie adaptations to come along, bringing Rowling’s words and imagination to life by transforming them into a series of blockbuster movies.
The wizardry and witchcraft mania that was induced by the books was only exaggerated after the release of the on-screen adaptations which, collectively, grossed around $6.5 billion in total.
Despite her popularity, in recent years, many have deemed Rowling to be extremely problematic.
As some may already be aware, the author was accused of being transphobic by dozens of fans back in June 2020, after she posted a string of divisive tweets criticising a headline about “those who menstruate.”
She wrote at the time: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” referring to a post she shared.
And it only got worse from there, she went on to say: “If s*x isn’t real, there’s no same-s*x attraction. If s*x isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of s*x removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
And many said that she had now ruined Harry Potter for them.
The tweets sparked huge backlash online, and In response to the author’s comments, Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint spoke out, sharing their solidarity with the trans community.
Radcliffe gave a statement through the LGBT s***ide prevention charity the Trevor Project, saying: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Although it has been a few years since then, many fans have spoken out against Rowling. And with the recent drop of the Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, the authors comments have resurfaced.
In response to the release, trans activists have swamped Twitter.
One wrote: “Talking about the Hogwarts Legacy boycott – are there more important things in life? yes. Should you boycott it because it’s a very easy – literally bare minimum – way to show solidarity with trans people? also yes.”
“Not getting Hogwarts Legacy cause JK Rowling is a terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is a very valid reason,” a second said.
A third added: “If you play Hogwarts Legacy you’re openly saying, ‘I’m okay with giving money to a TERF for a cheap nostalgia pop’ and it’s an ugly look.”
However, some have shown support to the author, including actress Evanna Lynch, who played the quirky Luna Lovegood in the franchise.
Lynch has always declared herself as a friend and fan of Rowling and has backed the writer despite her contentious views which were dubbed as being ‘anti-trans’.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Lynch said: “I was very naive when I was dragged into that conversation. I didn’t even know there were two sides. I had a view of, like, good and bad.
“I do have compassion for both sides of the argument. I know what it was like to be a teenager who hated my body so much I wanted to crawl out of my skin, so I have great compassion for trans people and I don’t want to add to their pain.”
She continued: “I do also think it’s important that JK Rowling has been amplifying the voices of detransitioners. I had this impulse to go, ‘Let’s all just stop talking about it’, and I think probably I’m a bit braver now about having uncomfortable conversations…
“I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there’s a disagreement over who’s the most vulnerable. I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her.”
What do you make of her comments?
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