/HBO Baffles Fans With Harry Potter Reboot Series, Defense Of J.K. Rowlings Role

HBO Baffles Fans With Harry Potter Reboot Series, Defense Of J.K. Rowlings Role

Harry Potter” is being rebooted as an HBO Max series produced by J.K. Rowling.

Fans responded to Wednesday’s announcement with anger and confusion, as some worry about the tarnishing of a beloved franchise and many are baffled by Rowling’s involvement given her very public turn toward transphobia in recent years.

The news came as part of announcement that HBO Max is combining with the Discovery+ streaming service and changing its name to Max. The streamer promised a “faithful” retelling of Rowling’s books, according to The Hollywood Reporter. While the series will roll out over a period of 10 years, HBO CEO Casey Bloys is already running damage control.

“J.K. is an executive producer, and her insights will be helpful,” he said Wednesday, per the outlet. “We are in the Harry Potter business. The TV show is new and exciting, but we’ve been in the Harry Potter business for 20 years; this isn’t a new decision.”

“We’re comfortable being in the Harry Potter business,” he continued. “J.K. is a very online conversation. It’s very nuanced and complicated and not something we’re going to get into. Our priority is what’s on screen.”

To many, though, Rowling’s role in promoting anti-transgender bigotry is anything but “nuanced” and “online.”

Rowling has become a leading voice against trans rights in the U.K. and has made countless statements ― on Twitter, in interviews, and even in her novels ― that have been deemed transphobic over the years. She has repeatedly promoted the false idea that trans women pose a unique danger to cis women, loudly taken issue with the phrase “people who menstruate” (a term meant to include trans men, nonbinary and intersex people), and written a long blog post attacking “the new trans activism.”

Bloys, who oversees HBO’s content, added the “Harry Potter” franchise is “incredibly affirmative and positive about love and acceptance.”

The "Harry Potter" TV series was announced alongside HBO Max's name change to Max.
The “Harry Potter” TV series was announced alongside HBO Max’s name change to Max.


“Adapting every single ‘Harry Potter’ book into at least one season of TV each is basically committing to a decade-long relationship with TERF J.K. Rowling,” one person tweeted, using an acronym that refers to self-described feminists who express bigotry toward trans women. “You don’t do that if you’re remotely open to accepting that trans men are men and trans women are women.”

Rowling, who has claimed to “know and love trans people,” isn’t expected to contribute to the show’s writing or its day-to-day production. Her involvement appears rooted in the fact that Max isn’t legally allowed to make the series without her, per THR.

Max’s quest for a showrunner has just begun — as has the backlash on social media.

Original Source