‘Harry Potter’ Axed From Lineup After LGBTQ+ Protest

in Harry Potter

Harry Potter stares ahead in fear in front of a tombstone

Credit: Warner Bros.

The fallout of JK Rowling’s controversial opinions continues.

Since releasing “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 1997, JK Rowling rapidly established herself – and the boy wizard – as a household name.

JK Rowling visits the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: JK Rowling Continues Anti-Woke Tirade, Joins Forces With Elon Musk

Over the course of 20 years, Rowling penned seven different adventures for Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger as they faced off against the evil Lord Voldemort. While the books wrapped up with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007, the magic continued on the big screen where Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson stepped into the lead roles.

Today, Harry Potter spans not just books and films, but a spinoff series, a two-part Broadway show, and Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, and beyond. Even in 2023, its fandom is as passionate as ever – but it’s also much more controversial.

Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, on set of the Harry Potter series
Credit: Warner Bros.

Starting in 2018, Rowling has increasingly shared her opinions on transgender rights. What started as her liking a tweet that described trans women as “men in dresses” has evolved into regular debates with LGBTQ+ activists on X (previously known as Twitter), as well as an extensive essay that claimed trans activism sought to “erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class.”

Multiple stars of the Harry Potter franchise – including Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson, as well as Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) and Katie Leung (Cho Chang) – subsequently confirmed that they do not share the same sentiments. Warner Bros. Entertainment and Universal Studios Parks & Resorts (now known as Universal Destinations & Experiences) also released statements pledging their support to the LGBTQ+ community.

Harry Potter grabs the letters
Credit: Warner Bros.

Rowling’s comments have left the Harry Potter fandom divided. Some criticized Rowling, while continuing to enjoy the Wizarding World the same as ever. Others agreed with her. And then there were those who ditched Harry Potter completely and continue to protest against its prominence in pop culture.

The latest dispute kicked off over the inclusion of Harry Potter at London MCM Comic Con in October. While a Harry Potter-themed panel was initially set to take place, this has now been axed after the LGBTQ+ charity Switchboard issued a complaint in protest.

Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Related: “Hateful and Divisive” ‘Harry Potter’ Creator JK Rowling Removed From Museum

“When we agreed to host a Pride Lounge at this year’s MCM London Comic Con we did so with the aim of connecting with their diverse fan community,” Switchboard wrote on X. “However, at that time we were unaware of their plans to feature any panels using the Harry Potter IP (intellectual property).”

After discovering this, Switchboard “felt compelled to express [their] concerns about the potential impact on [the] community.” As a consequence, the Harry Potter panel was officially canceled.

According to Pink News, the canceled panel was reportedly set to focus on the production team behind the scenes of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – the stage show that acts as a quasi-sequel to the series, largely focusing on Harry’s son, Albus Potter.

Harry Potter and Hedwig
Credit: Warner Bros.

This follows calls for fans to boycott the upcoming Harry Potter reboot coming to HBO. Spanning the course of seven seasons, this is set to delve deeper into the books than the Harry Potter films. Due to the ongoing Writers Strike and SAG-AFTRA Strike, the series is currently still in development.

Rowling issued a response to the boycott plans on X. “Activists in my mentions are trying to organise yet another boycott of my work, this time of the Harry Potter TV show,” she wrote. “As forewarned is forearmed, I’ve taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne.”

Are you excited for the Harry Potter HBO reboot? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments!

View Comment (1)