‘Harry Potter’ Canceled for Good

in Harry Potter

The cast of 'Harry Potter' in the bonus scene at the end of the final film. Text has been overlayed on top that reads "canceled"

Credit: Universal Pictures

JK Rowling sealed her fate with many Harry Potter fans this week by donating thousands of British pounds to a trans-exclusionary feminist movement. Potterheads slowly started trickling away from the author after years of transphobic comments on social media, but financially supporting a harmful cause was the final straw for many.

The last Harry Potter book was released in 2007. Its counterpart, the final film in the globally acclaimed Harry Potter series, premiered in 2011. Though initially promising to leave behind The Boy Who Lived after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011), Rowling spent the last decade milking more success out of the Wizarding World.

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, smiles
Credit: ABC

While also writing under the pen name Robert Galbraith, Rowling uploaded previously unknown details about the Harry Potter universe to Pottermore, an online video game. Since 2011, Harry, Ron, and Hermoine have become fixtures at Universal Studios theme parks, the constantly expanding Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, and multiple LEGO video games. And who can forget the Fantastic Beasts movies, or “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”?

Last year, Rowling collaborated with Avalanche Software for “Hogwarts Legacy,” a highly-anticipated game that caught a lot of flack online. Beyond its potentially anti-semitic premise (Hook-nosed Goblins are the villains and control the Wizarding World’s finances), the game included what felt like a hastily added trans woman named Sirona Ryan, which many found offensive for including the word “sir.”

Hogwarts Legacy Harry Potter game Sirona Ryans at the Three Broomsticks
Credit: Warner Bros.

To understand the depth of Rowling’s spiral into transphobia, you’ll need to go back to 2018. She liked a few posts on X (formerly known as Twitter) that worried LGBTQIA+ fans, though she quickly reassured followers that the interactions were accidental.

It only took a few years for her to become a proud TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), even using the Galbraith name to write a book about a trans woman murdering a cartoonist. Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermoine Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), and more have condemned her views.

As part of the “gender critical” movement, Rowling advocates against the rights of transgender women to entire women-only spaces. In 2020, she insisted that she only wanted to protect women and girls and would march with any trans person persecuted on the basis of their gender.

I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.

Rowling’s recent donation squashes the hopes of any fans who thought that, at minimum, any money they spent on the Harry Potter franchise wouldn’t hurt transgender people. Her £70,000 gift to For Women Scotland directly supports a long-running legal effort to repeal a 2004 decision that allowed males to change their gender to female legally.

“You know how proud I am to know you,” Rowling wrote alongside her donation. “Thank you for all your hard work and perseverance. This is truly a historic case.”

JK Rowling on the red carpet at Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Credit: Universal Studios

This law is one of the most basic legal protections for transgender women. If this “feminist” group is successful, the ruling could turn into a landslide effect that would hurt almost every trans person in the U.K. Yet; JK Rowling said she would march with transgender people if they were “discriminated against on the basis of being trans.”

The writer doubled down on her decision with a sarcastic response to an X user on Sunday. A commenter suggested Rowling should’ve asked her husband for permission to donate, implying that the author’s trans-exclusionary feminism makes her the opposite of a feminist.

“He’s told me it’s coming out of next week’s housekeeping allowance 😢,” Rowling quipped.

Does JK Rowling donating to For Women Scotland change your opinion of the author? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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