Is it Bad to Still Like Harry Potter After the Joanne Rowling Scandal

Is it Bad to Still Like Harry Potter After the Joanne Rowling Scandal
Image credit: Legion-Media

Harry Potter – it's a fandom that many of us grew up with, and often, we wished that we could join the magical world ourselves when we hit the fateful age of eleven.

And, if you were anything like us, you probably blamed it on Death Eaters tampering with Muggle Born records when our letters didn't arrive. However, as the years have gone by, the Harry Potter fandom has been wracked by several controversies, including the JK Rowling scandal regarding gender identity – which begs the question, is it bad to still like Harry Potter after the Joanne Rowling Scandal?

Is it Bad to Still Like Harry Potter After JK Rowling's Scandal?

The JK Rowling scandal regarding potentially transphobic comments rocked the world in 2020 after Rowling questioned the use of the term "women who menstruate" as opposed to just using the word "women." This – along with many further comments – has sparked a widespread debate as to whether JK Rowling is transphobic. And understandably, many people are now asking: is it bad to still like Harry Potter after this scandal?

Were JK Rowling's Comments Transphobic?

As with the entire scandal, the exact nature of the comments can sometimes be a topic of hot debate. Big names from the franchise, such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Bonnie Wright, proudly stood up and criticized Rowling's comments. However, others have shown support for her statements. Robbie Coltrane – the beloved actor who played Hagrid – for example publicly claimed that he didn't see her statements as being transphobic.

A Sussex University philosopher, Dr. Kathleen Stock, showed her support for Rowling's comments, which Rowling claims were originally aimed at protecting women-only spaces. Stock explained, "it's not the claim that trans women are all predatory."

Rowling has attempted to explain the reasoning behind her statements in a long essay – we've read it all, and it's really quite moving – which goes deeper into her personal history. Based on this essay, Rowling aimed her comments to be protective of everyone – including trans men and women – based on her lived experiences of violence and abuse. Some within the transgender community have also spoken out, believing her treatment to be unfair and abusive, such as Transgender Trend.

As such, there seems to be a very unclear line drawn between the two camps, and there's no real way to say whether Rowling's comments were transphobic – as this seems to be subjective.

A Personal Decision to be Made

At the end of the day, there's no clear answer as to whether it is bad still to like Harry Potter after the JK Rowling scandal. Irrefutably, the series is still an incredible masterpiece in its own right before considering your stance on JK Rowling's comments and posts. And, of course, no one should ever let a single influential person sway their opinions; as such, it's entirely up to you whether or not you support JK Rowling's comments or oppose them.

Her comments alone do not impact the quality of the content itself, and the Harry Potter world is undeniably still a wonderful place filled with diversity and incredible tales. As such, regardless of JK Rowling's stance – whatever that might be – it's really down to you as to whether or not it's bad still to like Harry Potter.