Warner Bros. Issues Official Statement On J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Tweets

JK Rowling

Well, at least Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is no longer the dumbest thing Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has ever written. After creating a storm over the weekend with tweets that strongly hinted that she possessed transphobic views, yesterday she published a lengthy and bizarre essay on her website in which she confirmed our worst suspicions.

The already unhappy Harry Potter fanbase reacted to this with dismay and betrayal that one of their heroes had let them down. They were quickly joined by many actors who’d appeared in the movies, with Emma Watson tweeting that “trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.” Meanwhile, Eddie Redmayne said that “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”

All of this puts Warner Bros. in a tricky spot. Rowling’s Wizarding World is one of their most lucrative franchises, though is currently at a low point after The Crimes of Grindelwald unexpectedly flopped. Right now, they need to reinvigorate interest in it and it’s safe to say that the creator randomly trashing their reputation doesn’t help. As such, they’ve put out a mealy-mouthed statement that distances themselves from her without actually committing to anything.

“The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues. Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”

It remains to be seen what damage Rowling has done to Harry Potter as a whole. Some fans are simply going to pretend that Daniel Radcliffe wrote the books from now on, while others are saying they don’t recognize this J.K. Rowling as the same one that wrote the books. Whatever the case, her comments may well be remembered as the iceberg that struck the Harry Potter franchise and marked the beginning of a precipitous decline in its popularity.