(kudos to moe for putting together a well-documented and researched timeline; saved me a lot of work, and honestly their video debunks rowling’s nonsense so beautifully it really should be considered art.)
last minute edit:
jkr is now one of many writers, journalists, and scientists to co-sign a letter against ‘cancel culture’, published in harpers magazine yesterday
(july 8th). the letter is abstract at best, claiming to advocate for ‘free speech’ and ‘open debate’, when really it’s about the signatories seeking carte blanche to say whatever they want without repercussions. SIGH. people are retracting their signatures
, but jk is holding fast. naturally.
as someone who has been tremendously inspired by the potter books—they were the first books i read in english, and the reason behind my first foray into online fandom—this has all been a horrendous punch in the stomach. i did fall out of love with the work itself a long time ago, and unfortunately i can even pinpoint the day: july 21st 2007, the day deathly hallows was released. i was suddenly aware of the creator being fallible: 17-year-old me was finally equipped with critical reading skills and literary knowledge (thanks, international baccalaureate!), and the result was being able to objectively and critically look at this book i’d waited on for years, read it cover to cover in a day, and see that it was… really, really bad. a bad story, badly written, and a bad conclusion to a saga i’d grown intertwined with throughout my teenhood.
it felt like a welcoming to adult life through bitter, crushing disappointment.
then came cursed child, the sequel play that originated at a london theatre i indirectly worked for briefly, which was oddly similar to—and definitely worse than—fanfiction i myself had written at age eleven. you could say that at that point the magic just fizzled out for me. i was kinda done with harry potter, but i remained vaguely fond of the world, the wizardry, and the wonder, if even for nostalgia’s sake.
came fantastic beasts
, the first prequel-y movie, which for once had nothing to do with harry or voldemort or any of the people we knew, and was set in america, and actually featured a pretty overtly queer narrative
. could it be?? were we headed for a five-movie series about gay wizards battling for world domination
?? were my gay dreams about to come true??? ehh, not quite
. first of all (spoilers, i guess, though will you watch these movies if you haven’t already? let’s be real here)—they replaced colin farrell with johnny depp, and jkr defended the decision to cast him
, even while the accusations of domestic abuse against him were at their peak. red flag #1. plus the heartbreaking queer narrative that made the ending of the first film so poignant was ret-conned
to bring this franchise into the fold of the potter stories we knew already, with no regard for any sort of continuity. that’s it, i give up, y’all. not even james newton-howard’s incredible soundtracks
will be enough to drag this nonsense out of the gutter where it belongs.
so… that’s enough now. jkr’s overt display of hate for a community that’s so so close to my heart was the final nail in the proverbial coffin, and i’m all out of excuses to keep my love for the wizarding world alive. it’s not even that great a world! there are so many better stories out there, with deeper worldbuilding, nuanced characters, lgbt inclusion, rich and satisfying storylines… we can do better than this mediocre fantasy world.