I am going to be mean here for a moment.
Please read another book. Watch a different movie. Get into comic books, learn to knit, start hiking, hyperfixate on Genshin Impact fanfic, get into indie horror games.
But please stop giving JK Rowling constant money, free support and advertising by inundating the world with Harry Potter Content.
One thing we already know well, is that JK Rowling is a bigot. She has a storied and explicit history of shitting on transgender people, perpetuating hateful dialogue about us, and even publishing a novel about a transphobe who is confronted online that frames the transphobe as a hero. She doubles down again and again, and when confronted on it- chooses to accuse the Trans community of trying to erase the concept of biological sex.
This.. Is not what transgender people are trying to do. No one with half an ounce of sanity would claim that biological sex exists, or that it plays a role in the experiences of cis women. We live in a patriarchal imperialist society, of course being Assigned Female At Birth (AFAB) would lead to having certain experiences- such as being exposed to misogynistic discrimination and abuse.
Trans people advocate for the separation of biological sex and neurological gender. We want our identities to be respected, to be treated with social equity, to access gender affirming care affordably and easily.
JK claims to ‘know and love’ transgender people. If she did, she would know that she is hurting us by promoting this dishonest narrative.
In addition, she has promoted artists and merchants that sell transphobic merchandise, supported known bigot Caroline Farrow, supported a tax specialist who had been openly bigoted in public forums, disparaged support of the charity org Mermaids, and perpetuated medical misinformation about transition care.
But the problems don’t stop there.
There is prevalent antisemitism and racism in the world of Harry Potter. Goblins and the imagery around them have been associated with antisemitism for a not insignificant chunk of history. Greed and money-hoarding are notable antisemitic tropes used to mock the Jewish community, and well..
The floor of Gringotts has a Magen David. You can’t get much more blatant than that.
In addition, this tiktok explains rather articulately how abhorrent the newest game in the Harry Potter franchise is.
The goblins are stealing wizard babies. The money-obsessed, big nosed, ill-tempered goblins are stealing babies to destroy wizardkind.
Hey. Heyyy, JK Rowling? Harry Potter Fandom? Do you know what Blood Libel is?
Blood libel or ritual murder libel (also blood accusation) is an antisemitic canard which falsely accuses Jews of kidnapping and murdering Christian boys in order to use their blood in the performance of secret rituals, or for other nefarious purposes.
Do you maybe see the problem here?
In addition, the development team is closely affiliated with vocal neoconservative content creator Troy Leavitt, who openly defended alleged sex pest John Lasseter and praises the concept of cultural appropriation.
We could talk about the racist abuse Katie Leung faced after portraying Cho Chang- or about how wildly racist that name is for that matter. And Cho isn’t the only problematic character name there.
The problem, Jo (can I call you Jo? I hope so), is that we as Indigenous peoples are constantly situated as fantasy creatures. Think about Peter Pan, where Neverland has mermaids, pirates…and Indians. Or on Halloween, children dress up as monsters, zombies, princesses, disney characters…and Indians. Beyond the positioning as “not real,” there is also a pervasive and problematic narrative wherein Native peoples are always “mystical” and “magical” and “spiritual”–able to talk to animals, conjure spirits, perform magic, heal with “medicine” and destroy with “curses.” Think about Grandmother Willow in Pocahontas, or Tonto talking to his bird and horse in The Lone Ranger, or the wolfpack in Twilight…or any other number of examples.
But we’re not magical creatures, we’re contemporary peoples who are still here, and still practice our spiritual traditions, traditions that are not akin to a completely imaginary wizarding world (as badass as that wizarding world is). In a fact I quote often on this blog, it wasn’t until 1978 that we as Native peoples were even legally allowed to practice our religious beliefs or possess sacred objects like eagle feathers. Up until that point, there was a coordinated effort through assimilation policies, missionary systems, and cultural genocide to stamp out these traditions, and with them, our existence as Indigenous peoples. We’ve fought and worked incredibly hard to maintain these practices and pass them on.
~ Dr. Adrienne Keene, Brown University
And Dr. Keene isn’t the only person with some opinions.
Every time you buy Harry Potter merch, post fanfic, stream the movies, buy the games? You are giving this heinous woman more money to fund her hate campaign.
Every time you post about your OCs, fanart, fanfic, you are giving Rowling and her sphere of influence more of a platform.
Harry Potter is a massive part of our cultural zeitgeist, this I cannot deny. These books were formative for my generation. The story of an abused child becoming a hero gave many of the emotionally neglected and physically abused kids of my generation hope and a sense of wonder. he fantasy elements, problematic though they are at times, are filled to the brim with imagery and vibrancy that foster imagination. I’m not going to sit here and pretend I didn’t grow up cosplaying as Hermione.
But we need to stop. We need to stop giving this woman fame and funding. She will only use it to hurt people, give money to TERFS and neoconservatives, and spread more misinformation.
You cannot separate the art from the artist, when the artist is still alive. You cannot let people ‘just enjoy things’ when that thing actively helps fund a bigot’s hate campaigns.
If you need a YA Novel series to hyperfixate on, Percy Jackson is right there. A Series of Unfortunate Events is right next to it. Hell, The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd and The Slayer Chroniles was written by a trans man- Zac Brewer! Go read those books!
But please. Stop giving this disaster of a woman your money and support. Put the broom down, pack the wand away, donate the merch to Goodwill, and move on. It will not be easy- it wasn’t for me- but it needs to be done. For the good of all of us.