The announcement of a new Harry Potter TV series has created excitement among fans of the beloved franchise, but it has also sparked controversy due to the involvement of author J.K. Rowling, who has faced backlash for her comments on gender identity. Critics have been questioning the purpose of remaking a franchise at a time when its author faces accusations of transphobia.
The series will be produced by HBO Max and Discovery+ as the two streaming giants reportedly seek to complete their merger by May 23. According to reports, the show will be a “decade-long series,” with each season based on one of the books in the Harry Potter franchise, and will feature a new cast.
Rowling will serve as an executive producer on the series, which has not gone well with the audience. Here are some reactions to the teaser on social media.
Is the Harry Potter TV Series Milking Anti-LGBT Sentiments?
The Harry Potter franchise may have a huge fan base, but the controversy surrounding Rowling has led to heated reactions to the long-form TV show. Viewers are divided on whether to continue supporting the franchise or to express solidarity with the LGBT community by choosing to dislike it.
Critics have called for a boycott of the series due to Rowling’s involvement in the franchise despite her controversial views. The point of all this rage is to stop Rowling from continuing to make money from the Harry Potter franchise following her controversial remarks. Critics argue that eight movies were sufficient adaptations and there was no need for another Harry Potter project. It can be decade-long mental torture for the LGBT community while Rowling and others will continue to make money.
Rebuilding the Legacy
Some public opinions highlight benefits aside from another cash stream for Rowling. The author used to have a great relationship with the original cast of Harry Potter, which includes Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. However, that changed after the alleged transphobic remarks. The actors distanced themselves from the author’s comments and started advocating for LGBT acceptance.
It has led some to wonder if the upcoming Harry Potter TV series is an attempt to repurpose the franchise so the new actors can take over the beloved characters. The newer cast in a decade-long TV show will create an alternate legacy for Rowling which doesn’t involve Radcliffe and co.
Can the Show Try And Fix What’s Broken?
The criticism against Rowling is not new and has been going on for the past several years. In 2019, she faced backlash for tweets in which she expressed her belief that “sex is real” and criticized the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of “women.”
Many saw her comments as transphobic, leading to criticism from fans as well as several advocacy groups. However, the author’s supporters do not see her views as “transphobic” and admire her for raising her voice for women.
Recently, a PlayStation game based on the Harry Potter world, Hogwarts Legacy, also sparked the same controversy. Despite not being involved in the project, the author still received royalties for owning the source material. Critics called for a boycott of the game so the author doesn’t receive funds. However, many realized they were quick to judge as the game allowed players to create a non-binary playable character.
The new Harry Potter TV series also presents an opportunity for the franchise to address some of the allegations against it. For example, the lack of diversity in the original series has been a subject of criticism, and the upcoming series can resolve this by casting actors of colour in prominent roles. Similarly, it can also promote acceptance of transgenderism through new characters and stories.