JK Rowling. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Two of the biggest Harry Potter fan sites have distanced themselves from JK Rowling in light of her “harmful and disproven beliefs” about transgender people.
The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet announced on Thursday (July 2) that they would no longer provide links to her Rowling’s website, use photos of her, or write about her outside of her role in creating the world of Harry Potter.
The fan sites, which have more than one million Facebook fans combined, made their “distaste” for the author clear in a joint statement denouncing her and her anti-trans views.
“As this fandom enters its third decade, JK Rowling has chosen this time to loudly pronounce harmful and disproven beliefs about what it means to be a transgender person,” it begins.
“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 marginalised 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.”
This marks the beginning of a renewed commitment to serving the #HarryPotter community from a more conscious standpoint than we have done in the past. https://t.co/CcKxdo23NT pic.twitter.com/IetMlsXBY4
— MuggleNet: #1 Wizarding World Resource Since 1999 (@MuggleNet) July 1, 2020
The groups acknowledge that, while it is difficult to speak out against a person they have long admired, they have a duty to use their 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,” they affirmed.
“We stand with Harry Potter fans in these communities, and while we don’t condone the mistreatment JKR has received, we must reject her beliefs.”
The groups recognise that many of their members have used Harry Potter to explore their identities “while spreading love and acceptance”. They want this to continue, but in a way that “uplifts and centres” marginalised people.
As well as ceasing all coverage of JK Rowling, The Leaky Cauldron will flag any Twitter posts that may be hurtful to members of the community with the hashtag #JKR to allow for easy muting.
“This marks the beginning of a renewed commitment to serving the Harry Potter community from a more conscious standpoint than we have done in the past,” the group said.
The news comes after several Harry Potter stars publicly distanced themselves from JK Rowling’s views, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Eddie Redmayne, Evanna Lynch, Katie Leung and Chris Rankin.