When the Harry Potter films 20th anniversary reunion special aired earlier this year, it brought back almost the entire cast and crew from the films, with many reuniting years later. However, many viewers noted a conspicuous absence. The character’s creator, JK Rowling, who wrote the best-selling book series the films are based on, was not part of the special. Many speculated that the author was asked not to participate due to recent controversy surrounding her views on the LGBTQ community. Also read: Why JK Rowling Wasn’t Part of the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion Special
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts streamed on HBO Max in January. At the time, EW reported that Rowling declined to participate because her team determined that the author’s archived comments were appropriate.” There were rumors that the writer was asked by producers not to participate amid controversy surrounding her comments about trans people have triggered lately.
However, in a recent interview with talk show host Graham Norton for his podcast, Rowling clarified, “I was asked to be there. I decided I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was more about the movies than the books, rightly so.” The author added that, contrary to reports, no one asked her not to attend the reunion. “No one said, ‘Don’t come.’ I was asked to do it and I decided not to,” she added.
Rowling’s opposition to trans rights has drawn controversy and criticism from some quarters. Organizations including GLAAD, the Human Rights Coalition and The Trevor Project have condemned her comments as “transphobic.” However, the January EW report noted that the controversy played no part in her absence from the special, which Rowling reiterated in the interview.
Rowling created the child wizard Harry Potter in the mid-1990s. The character debuted in the 1997 book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and spawned six sequels. In total, the seven novels have sold over 500 million copies worldwide. The film series, which began in 2001, included eight films that collectively grossed $7.7 billion at the box office. The spinoff prequel series Fantastic Beasts has also released three films since 2016 and grossed $1.8 billion. Known collectively as the Wizarding World franchise, it is one of the most commercially successful media franchises in history.
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