J.K. Rowling is finally addressing her absence from the Harry Potter reunion special.
As super fans of the movies most likely recall, many of the film franchise’s stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, directors, and producers reunited for the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on HBO Max at the beginning of the year. But notably absent from the television event? The 57-year-old author of the book series – although she did appear in archival clips.
So when Graham Norton mentioned that J.K. was “excluded” from the film during an interview on Virgin Radio Saturday, she quickly set the record straight. The writer explained:
“I wasn’t, actually. I was asked to be on that, and I decided I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was about the films more than the books, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about. No one said don’t …I was asked to do it and I decided not to.”
Even if what she said is true, there is no doubt that her joining the actors from the film series for the reunion would be a little awkward – to say the least. In recent years, Rowling has faced a ton of backlash for her anti-transgender rhetoric – including in 2020 when she slammed an article for using the inclusive phrase “people who menstruate” instead of the word “women.” She wrote at the time:
“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Several stars of Harry Potter called out the novelist, including Emma, Rupert, and Daniel. The Woman in Black star even wrote an essay for the LGBTQ+ organization The Trevor Project to condemn her problematic views, saying at the time:
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment. Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Despite the controversy, J.K. has continued to double down on her stance and make harmful transphobic remarks on her social media. Soooo we feel like a majority of the cast members wouldn’t be too upset if she continued to skip out on any future reunion!
Elsewhere in the conservation, Rowling touched on her complicated relationship with social media after receiving death threats for expressing her support for Salman Rushdie who was stabbed at a literary festival at New York State’s Chautauqua Institution earlier this month. She reflected:
“I try to behave online as I would like others to behave… I’ve never threatened anyone. I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that. Social media can be a lot of fun, and I do like the pub argument aspect of it. That can be a fun thing to do… I sort of have a love-hate relationship with it now. I can happily go for a few days without getting into a pub brawl.”
Reactions, Perezcious readers? Were you disappointed J.K. didn’t appear in the reunion? Let us know in the comments (below).
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