“She Who Must Not Be Named” — ‘Harry Potter’ Star Reportedly Forbidden From Discussing JK Rowling

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Lucius and Draco in Harry Potter

Credit: Warner Bros.

It might sound like a scene out of one of the Harry Potter movies in which a character is warned by another not to say the words “Lord Voldemort”, and is instead encouraged to refer to the fearsome dark wizard as “He Who Must Not Be Named”, but that’s what recently happened to Harry Potter star Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy in all eight Harry Potter movies.

The 34-year-old actor was recently promoting a new attraction at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter, an incredibly popular exhibition that celebrates the Harry Potter movies by showcasing the magic from behind the scenes, such as practical special effects, costumes worn by the actors, and real sets from the Great Hall to Diagon Alley.

Tom Felton as draco malfoy
Credit: Warner Bros.

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The Telegraph has reported that, at the event, Felton was asked by a Sky News reporter if it “felt strange” that JK Rowling had not been involved in any recent activities celebrating the franchise, such as Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (2022), which saw the return of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, and several other actors from the Harry Potter movies.

The reporter said:

“You and the other stars of the film are very much still the face of the franchise. JK obviously has more of a back seat now. Is it strange her not being around for things like this?”

Narcissa and Draco Malfoy
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: The Name of Quidditch Is Officially Changing to Disassociate With JK Rowling

Before the Draco Malfoy actor was able to answer, a publicist interrupted and said, “Next question, please.” Sky later confirmed that they had asked why the question was blocked by the publicist and said that the reply they received was:

“JK Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton. The team felt it was not relevant to the piece.”

Since the Telegraph‘s report was issued, a Warner Bros. representative has clarified the studio’s position on working with JK Rowling. They said:

“Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive, and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years. She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters, and stories to life now – and for decades to come.  On Monday, a statement was issued by a third-party media agency that appeared contrary to this view.  The statement was wholly wrong, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets it happened as part of a media event that day.”

JK Rowling is known for sharing her political views on Twitter, where she’s often found to be witty and sarcastic, especially when it comes to responding to others. But she has been at the heart of controversy ever since she entered the trans debate in 2019 with a tweet that left many accusing her of being transphobic.

Credit: ABC

Related: J.K. Rowling Removed From Charity Event After Transgender Employee Speaks Out

The roller coaster of controversy started when Rowling defended Maya Forstater, who made headlines when her contract with her employer was not renewed after she tweeted gender-critical views. In her tweet, while stating that transgender people should live in “peace and security”, Rowling questioned why women should be forced out of their jobs for stating that “sex is real”.

The following year, the world-famous Harry Potter author tweeted in response to an article for using the phrase “people who menstruate”. In her tweet, Rowling said that women’s rights would be “erased” if “sex isn’t real”. Ever since, she has locked horns with the trans community, with many accusing her of being transphobic.

The tweet reads: “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.”

Over the past two years, numerous Harry Potter actors have seemingly distanced themselves from Rowling, including Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and Daniel Radcliffe, who play Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, and Harry Potter, respectively, in the Harry Potter movies. Daniel Radcliffe even released a full statement expressing his views on the matter.

Other actors from the Harry Potter movies, however, have attempted to remain neutral. In an interview with The Times a few months ago, actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies, was asked about the controversy surrounding the author. “I liken JK Rowling to an auntie,” he said, before adding, “I don’t agree with everything my auntie says.”

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Credit: Warner Bros.

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Meanwhile, other actors have shown their support of JK Rowling. Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy in the films, said in an interview with The Telegraph back in January:

“There’s a bunch of stuff about Jo… I don’t want to get drawn into the trans issues, talking about them, because it’s such an extraordinary minefield. One of the things that people should know about her too — not as a counter-argument — is that she poured an enormous amount of her fortune into making the world a much better place, for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children through her charity Lumos. And that is unequivocally good. Many of us Harry Potter actors have worked for it, and seen on the ground the work they do.”

But now, it looks like Harry Potter actors are being urged to keep quiet altogether on JK Rowling. And exactly what “JK Rowling is not connected to Warner” means is a bit of a mystery. While it would come as no surprise that Warner Bros. may be distancing themselves from JK Rowling, it will undoubtedly come as a shock to many Harry Potter fans should this turn out to be true.

Ron Weasley
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Amid Controversy, J.K. Rowling Still Earned $60 Million in 2020

However, it would be unfair and untrue to suggest that the poor critical and financial performance of the latest Harry Potter spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022) is entirely Rowling’s fault (she did pen the screenplay for 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which was torn apart by critics).

While the film has been mired in controversy since its inception, that controversy also includes the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard trial, and more recently, all the news surrounding actor Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone in the Fantastic Beasts movies. But let’s also not forget that the last two movies in the Fantastic Beasts franchise just aren’t very good.

Mads Mikkelsen as Gellert Gindelwald
Credit: Warner Bros.

Either way, it’s possible that the poor reception of the Fantastic Beasts movies may lead to a “reset” of the Harry Potter franchise. Recently, comicbook.com reported that, according to sources close to Warner Bros., Discovery CEO David Zaslav is reportedly considering a “reset” — not just for the Fantastic Beasts movies, but the entire Harry Potter film universe.

So, it’s possible that a huge Harry Potter reboot is on the way. And given the poor performance of the latest Fantastic Beasts movie, it remains to be seen whether or not Warner Bros. intends to continue with that series. It was confirmed back in 2016 that five films were planned, however, with things looking grim for the Wizarding World, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Did ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Create a Wizarding World Multiverse?

Do you think Warner Bros. will eventually cut ties with JK Rowling, or are they locked into an “Unbreakable Vow”? Let us know in the comments down below!

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