Which character would you say best embodies J.K. Rowling posting anti-trans tweets in the Year of Our Lord Voldemort 2020: Moaning Myrtle? Or is she more of a Dolores Umbridge? Two popular sites for fans of the Harry Potter franchise and its surrounding wizarding world have released a joint statement condemning author J.K. Rowling’s recent anti-trans comments and have announced changes in their policies toward coverage of Rowling in the future. Entertainment Weekly reports that on June 1, MuggleNet and the Leaky Cauldron both posted statements that they “find the use of her influence and privilege to target marginalized people to be out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community.” The statement also outlines how the sites will no longer cover Rowling news outside updates directly related to Harry Potter, will remove purchase links to Rowling’s work, and will make efforts to limit the use of her name.
This announcement follows J.K. Rowling posting an over-3,000-word blog post in which she enumerates many scientifically muddled and socially harmful TERF beliefs, including the suggestion that trans women using bathrooms that align with their gender pose a threat to cis women and girls, and that trans activists will “erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender.” The joint statement reads:
The Harry Potter fandom has been going strong for more than 20 years, and we are so proud to have been there alongside so many, celebrating, learning, and growing together.
As this fandom enters its third decade, J.K. Rowling has chosen this time to loudly pronounce harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person. In addition to the distaste we feel for her choice to publish these statements during Pride Month — as well as during a global reckoning on racial injustice — we find the use of her influence and privilege to target marginalized people to be out of step with the message of acceptance and empowerment we find in her books and celebrated by the Harry Potter community.
Although it is difficult to speak out against someone whose work we have so long admired, it would be wrong not to use our platforms to counteract the harm she has caused. Our stance is firm: Transgender women are women. Transgender men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. Intersex people exist and should not be forced to live in the binary. We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received for airing her opinions about transgender people, we must reject her beliefs.
We have seen countless people use the Potter books and fan fiction to explore their own identities while spreading love and acceptance. We know that this is still possible, and we know that we want to continue to be part of that movement. We are committed to doing better work in our community to uplift and center the people who have been marginalized and create positive change from within our fandom platforms.
Each fan site then lists the specific ways in which they will reduce their coverage of Rowling on their respective platforms and social media. For example, going forward, both fan sites will use the hashtag #JKR when tweeting about Rowling “to allow for easy muting.” Consider her She Who Must Not Be Named.