“I Didn’t Want To Do It”, J.K. Rowling Explains Why She Avoided ‘Harry Potter’ Reunion Special

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J.K. Rowling

Credit: ABC

Famed Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, has finally broken her silence on why she skipped the Harry Potter reunion special on HBO Max.

Harry Potter 20th anniversary special
Credit: HBO Max

Related: Everything We Know About the Next Installment In the ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise

The Harry Potter series has been fundamental to many people’s childhoods, so it was with some shock that fans did not see Harry Potter and Wizarding World writer J.K. Rowling at the star-studded reunion event, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, that debuted January 1.

redmayne defends rowling
Credit: Debra Hurford Brown/Rowling

The Harry Potter franchise spans books, movies, games, and even theme parks. Created by author J.K. Rowling, the explosive success of the novel led the Harry Potter series to get picked up by Warner Bros. Pictures, and the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) — alternatively Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) in the U.S. — starring newcomers Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) took the world by storm.

Harry, Ron, Hermione
Credit: Warner Bros.

The Harry Potter tale spanning Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011) follows the eponymous Harry Potter and his exploits in the hidden Wizarding World. Eventually, he unravels the mystery and destiny surrounding the cursed lightning bolt scar on his forehead, given to him by Lord Voldemort (Tom Riddle/Ralph Fiennes).

Lucius and Draco in Harry Potter
Credit: Warner Bros.

In an interview with Graham Norton on the Virgin Radio UK Show, Rowling speaks out regarding her absence from the 20th anniversary reunion special:

I was asked to be on that and I decided I didn’t want to do it.

To avoid confusion, the author then clarifies:

No one said don’t [do it]… I was asked to do it and I decided not to.

Harry Potter Reunion Special 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts main trio, (left) Rupert Grint, (center) Emma Watson, (right) Daniel Radcliffe
Credit: HBO Max / Warner Bros.

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

Rowling being asked to appear tells us that the people over at Warner Bros. and HBO have definitely remained consistent in their support of the controversial author, who has been particularly outspoken against trans rights, particularly those of transgender women.

J.K. Rowling was also asked if she still maintained a relationship with the Harry Potter films’ “young cast”, including the ones who have “spoken out about [her]”.

I have. Yes, I do. I mean, some more than others, but that was always the case. You know, some I knew better than others.”

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

Harry Potter leads Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) have openly spoken out against what author J.K. Rowling has said, even penning several essays and issuing statements in support of the LGBTQ+ and trans rights movements. Radcliffe has famously stated “transgender women are women”, while Watson has said “trans people are who they say they are”.

J.K. Rowling subsequently doubled down on her beliefs, stating that she was not being transphobic.

Among those in the Harry Potter franchise who have publicly opposed Rowling’s views are Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), and Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort).

Other groups have sought to distance themselves from the controversy, such as the inter-collegiate sport of Quidditch (now Quadball), while certain Harry Potter actors have instead stood by the author, mainly on the grounds of the charity work she’s done elsewhere.

What do you think of J.K. Rowling’s absence from the 20th Anniversary Harry Potter reunion special? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Harry Potter’s journey largely takes place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, alongside his two fellow Gryffindor best friends, as they tangle with bullies like Slytherin Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) and father Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), and Voldemort’s cronies, the Death Eaters, such as Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Teachers at Hogwarts help them along, like Professor Minerva McGonagall (Dame Maggie Smith), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman), Rubeus Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Professor Sprout (Miriam Margolyes), Professor Flitwick (Warwick Davis).

The Wizarding World was expanded in 2016 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, following Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in the 1920s, as he meets up with sisters Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), Porpentina Goldstein/Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), and Muggle (No-Maj) Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), as well as Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore (Ezra Miller) and Percival Graves (Colin Farell). The series expands into Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022), and we get to see Zoë Kravitz (Leta Lestrange), Gellert Grindelwald played by both Johnny Depp and later Mads Mikkelsen, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), Theseus Scamander (Callum Turner), Nagini (Claudia Kim), and Minerva McGonagall (Fiona Glascott).

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a themed land within the larger theme park Universal Studios, which houses such epic attractions as Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, housed in Hogwarts castle, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure and Flight of the Hippogriff and the Three Broomsticks pub around the Hogsmeade area, while Diagon Alley boasts Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express train, as well as The Leaky Cauldron, Ollivanders Wand Shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Borgin and Burkes, Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.

The next installment in the Harry Potter franchise is video game Hogwarts Legacy, coming out February 10, 2023.

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