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Harry Potter video game boss insists JK Rowling ‘has the right to express her opinions’ on trans people

Josh Milton October 2, 2020
Harry Potter video game bosses distance themselves from JK Rowling

Hogwarts Legacy, a video games its publishers are eager to sequester from JK Rowling. (Warner Bros Games)

The president of Warner Bros Games, the publishers behind the upcoming big-budget open-world Harry Potter video game, allegedly said that JK Rowling “has the right to hold her opinions” on trans rights.

First-look trailers and screenshots for Hogwarts Legacy came in the throes of yet another scandal surrounding the author, whose latest book depicted a cisgender man dressing up as a woman to commit crimes.

Bosses behind the video game quickly sought to distance themselves, but WB Games president David Haddad allegedly addressed staffers’ concerns about Hogwarts Legacy and Rowling’s explosive comments on trans people becoming tangled during a questions and answers session Wednesday (30 September).

Hogwarts Legacy leader seeks to distance game from JK Rowling’s anti-trans ‘opinions’.

According to a video seen by Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier, Haddad said: “While JK Rowling is the creator of Harry Potter, and we are bringing that world to life with the power of Portkey [a bewitched object that can transport people], in many places, she’s a private citizen also.

“And that means she’s entitled to express her personal opinion on social media. I may not agree with her, and I might not agree with her stance on a range of topics, but I can agree she has the right to hold her opinions.”

Such “personal opinions” held by the British author are ones considered by actual trans people as well as leading activists as “dangerous“, often being more a series of freewheeling and inflamed views cobbled together on sprawling blog posts and Twitter threads.

Pose star Indya More said these “opinions” – which include comparing healthcare options for trans youth to “conversion therapy” and conflating being trans with mental illness – as inciting “death and violence“.

Schreier added that later in the questions and answers session, Haddad handled a question around the company’s approach to diversity.

In response, he said that the company is working with LGBT+ rights organisations, and that “he spent an hour and a half talking to the director of trans media representation at GLAAD [Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation]”.

‘My “humanity” is not an opinion’: Harry Potter fans decry WB Games boss’ dismissal of JK Rowling. 

Harry Potter fans, who have struggled to reimagine the wizarding world without its creator, were left unimpressed by Haddard’s alleged comments, while others said they would boycott it.

More: Harry Potter, Hogwarts Legacy, JK Rowling, Trans, trans rights, Warner Bros Games

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