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JK Rowling issues sarcastic response to planned boycott of Harry Potter series: ‘A large stock of champagne’

Warner Bros recently announced it had ordered an ‘original Harry Potter scripted series’ to be released over 10 years

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 25 April 2023 10:08 BST
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JK Rowling in lengthy explanation over transgender comments

JK Rowling has issued a sarcastic response to calls for a planned boycott of the new Harry Potter TV reboot.

Earlier this month, Warner Bros confirmed it had ordered an “original Harry Potter scripted series” which will be released over a 10-year period, with each season based on one of the seven books.

The show will also feature a brand new cast.

“A faithful adaptation” of the beloved books, the series will be released on Warner Bros’ streaming service Max. The company also announced that Rowling will serve as the show’s executive producer.

The announcement drew mixed reactions online, with some criticising the use of original design and sound elements. Others called to boycott the show over Rowling’s involvement; the British author’s stance on transgender views has been criticised as transphobic in recent years.

Reacting to the “dreadful news”, Rowling on Friday (21 April) wrote on Twitter: “Activists in my mentions are trying to organise yet another boycott of my work, this time of the Harry Potter TV show.”

“As forewarned is forearmed, I’ve taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne,” she wrote.

When asked whether Rowling’s involvement in the new TV series could adversely impact the show at a press event, Max and HBO Content Head Casey Bloys declined to comment on the issue.

He said: “That’s a very online conversation, very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into.”

The release of Hogwarts Legacy, a video game adaptation of Rowling’s wizarding world, in February this year prompted similar boycott calls amid heated online debate.

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Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft, who voices one of the characters in the game, publicly distanced himself from Rowling’s comments about the transgender community in a statement given at the time.

“I was cast in this project over three years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views,” he tweeted. “I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T.”

You can read a full timeline of Rowling’s controversial comments about women and transgender rights here.

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