Harry Potter and The Rehabilitation of Rowling

With the launch of a new Hogwarts video game comes a concerted effort to erase J.K. Rowling’s transphobia and protect her profitable image

Christopher Keelty

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A Twitter exchange between JK Rowling and conservative bigot Matt Walsh, in which Rowling praises his transphobic propaganda film, “What is a Woman?”

A few days ago, a new Harry Potter video game hit the market, and purely by coincidence today we got an “Opinion” piece in the New York Times by Pamela Paul, “In Defense of J.K. Rowling.” It points readers to the new podcast, “The Witch Trials of J.K Rowling,” which also works to rehabilitate the author’s tarnished reputation following her years of transphobic activism and public comment.

It is insanely frustrating that the New York Times uses the label “Opinion” to publish outright falsehood and propaganda. “Nothing Rowling has said qualifies as transphobic,” writes Paul. She quotes a journalist, E.J. Rosetta, who claims she was commissioned to write an article compiling 20 transphobic J.K Rowling quotes, and after “12 weeks of reporting and reading simply “could not find a single truly transphobic message.”

This depends, I suppose, on how you define “transphobic.” Most reasonable people would find it per se transphobic that Rowling consistently refers to trans women as “men.” But it’s true that her transphobia has less often been expressed in her own words, and more often in her…

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Christopher Keelty

Writer, cartoonist, and nonprofit pro. I have too many interests, but let’s focus on culture & politics. Bisexual, cis. He/him, please. | Twitter: @keeltyc.