In 2013, JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe sat down for a televised chat.
The author, who had created the character for which Radcliffe will always be known, was maternal. Radcliffe was enthusiastically deferential. …
It’s impossible to picture Radcliffe and Rowling having so cosy a conversation now; hard still to imagine them in the same room. For almost 20 years, Rowling was an icon to young millennials such as Radcliffe — CS Lewis, the Beatles and Mother Teresa rolled into one. Harry Potter supernerds like me dreamt of meeting Rowling, receiving one of her letters, or even just seeing her in a bookshop.
Now Rowling is loathed. She is seen as a danger to transgender people. She says she has received so many death threats she could “paper the house” with them — a house whose location was revealed online last month by trans rights activists. The situation has become so acute that simply following Rowling on Twitter feels like a political statement.
Follow the money:
What makes this all the more uncomfortable is that, while Radcliffe and Watson have distanced themselves from Rowling, they have yet to distance themselves from the wizarding world she invented as a broke single mother surviving, sometimes, on a biscuit a night.
In our Muggle world, a trailer has just dropped for a one-off HBO special that will air on New Year’s Day to mark the 20th anniversary of the first film.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am without so many people here,” Radcliffe says.
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley calls it “the perfect time to sit down with everyone and reminisce”.
But there’s a glaring omission: Rowling herself. The church is full but the creator is absent. …
Rowling’s “crime” was to not believe that someone who is born a man can fully become a woman when they transition.
Rather than defending her, Radcliffe and other Harry Potter actors soon made clear their distaste for Rowling’s views. “I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are,” [Emma Watson, who was cast as Hermoine] said. …
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint in a Harry Potter movie
The hysteria is mounting. On Reddit last week, a trans woman asked if anyone else had become “triggered by female British accents”. A decade of “hearing British women espousing transphobia” made her freeze and “prepare to be assaulted” whenever she heard such a voice. …
Potter fans who see Rowling as a font of hatred believe they face a difficult decision: whether or not to walk away from the world she made. Many are trying to have it both ways: holding fast to the stories, but erasing the “woomud” who wrote them.
There is a Freudian edge to the vigour with which Potter fans are rejecting Rowling, once a mother figure to millions. …
Yep, it’s just the loudmouth virtue signaling fringe:
For what it’s worth, there’s little evidence that any attempted cancellation of Rowling has dented her appeal. In June, the publisher Bloomsbury said sales of the Harry Potter books had risen by 7 per cent during the past year. And Rowling’s latest children’s book, The Christmas Pig, shot to the top of the bestseller list.
How must it feel to have your name airbrushed from the $8 billion film franchise born of your scribbling in a coffee shop, penniless, while your baby napped?
Or to watch the trio of child actors you chose and nurtured 20 years ago recall the stories which made them many times richer and more celebrated than their ho-hum talents deserve, yet not once uttering your name?
The billionaire author could easily have stayed silent in the argument over sex and gender but, like a handful of other courageous women, she refuses to deny material reality.
As the Enlightenment fades, it’s again becoming dangerous to stick up for reality against the dominant political ideology.