The upcoming game set in the Harry Potter world, Hogwarts Legacy, has been facing criticism from the Transgender community for its association with JK Rowling. Hundreds of petitions have been circulating on the internet to boycott the title to prevent any profits for Rowling. The game was announced around the time when the author faced severe backlash for her alleged transphobic views. While the controversial author is not directly involved in this project, the players have been facing a moral dilemma as buying it would be seen as supporting JK Rowling, whose views are not consistent with the LGBT petitioners.
Calls to Boycott Hogwarts Legacy
For the past several months, the LGBT people have been raising thier voice that purchasing this game would be unsupportive of them. They specifically called out straight people who showed less interest in boycotting Hogwarts Legacy. Social media users explained that the purpose of this urge was to make a statement to companies that they could face huge losses for disregarding the sentiments of transgender people.
Despite several similar urges, some other members of the LGBT community showed different attitudes toward the controversial game. They distanced themselves from trans-political activism and treated the game as something meant to be enjoyed. Many are aware of the fact that Rowling holds intellectual property rights over the entire world of Harry Potter, so she will be making money from the sales. However, the love for the franchise has overpowered the political and business aspects behind this title.
It is Possible to Do Both
Being an RPG (role-playing game), Hogwarts Legacy allows the player to create a playable character to thier liking. It can either be male, female or trans, as it’s the player’s choice to be identified as a “witch” or a “wizard” regardless of the body. This feature has given gamers a lot of creative ideas, including a form of retaliation against Rowling and transphobia.
What Did JK Rowling Say about Trans Community?
Many are still divided on the opinion of whether JK Rowling’s past comments are transphobic or not. In September 2020, the author shared her dismay over a news article that wrote, “people who menstruate” rather than explicitly stating “women”. Non-binary people took issue with the statement because those who did not identify as women also menstruate. Following harsh criticism, Rowling tried to make her point that removing the concept of sex was problematic for all genders as they would not be able to “meaningfully discuss thier lives”. She also claimed to be empathic to trans people and said she acknowledged that just like women, trans people were also prone to male violence. However, LBGT organisations like GLAAD did not buy it and believed that she did not accept the biological sense of the transgender community.