Last week, Toronto-based artist Laur Flom went viral on TikTok, thanks to his business which sells second-hand Harry Potter books. His company’s unique selling point is that all of the mentions of Rowling’s name are removed from the Potter books it sells.
After expunging her name from the sleeve and from the inside, he rebinds and resells the books online. A single Rowling-free copy will set you back around £140, while a full set of all seven books costs nearly £1,000. You can also send a copy you already own to Flom for it to be ‘de-Rowlinged’, for a similar price.
According to Flom, the aim of this project is primarily ‘to bring light to [Rowling’s] transphobia’, which he says has raised questions about ‘the ethics of consuming her work’. …
Superheroes of virtue signaling:
For some trans activists, there is simply no ‘ethical’ way to consume Rowling’s work — or indeed anything related to the Harry Potter franchise. For instance, an upcoming Harry Potter spin-off game, Hogwarts Legacy, has been marred by controversy simply for its association with Rowling, despite the fact she had no creative involvement with it. Following an online backlash, one of the game’s lead voice actors, Sebastian Croft, felt the need to declare that ‘trans women are women and trans men are men’, in order to distance himself from Rowling’s supposedly problematic views.
One pop-culture website asks the question: ‘Is it possible to enjoy Hogwarts Legacy if you’re not a fan of JK Rowling?’ It suggests that if Harry Potter fans absolutely must play this new game, they can ‘mitigate JK Rowling’s negative impact’ by buying it second-hand and not posting about it online. In other words, you can play Hogwarts Legacy, so long as you understand that you’re supposed to feel ashamed about it.
You can never be too woke, too rich, or too thin.