Culture/Movies

J.K. Rowling blasted for how she announced Dumbledore’s sexual relationship with Grindelwald

Harry Potter fans have taken to social media to call out J.K. Rowling's performative approach to representation.

March 18, 2019

Despite Deathly Hallows wrapping up the main Harry Potter saga over a decade ago, J. K. Rowling has continued to grow the world of Hogwarts through spinoffs for both stage (Harry Potter & the Cursed Child) and screen (the Fantastic Beasts franchise).

This tinkering on the Harry Potter universe hasn’t only been limited to new stories, but also Rowling’s habit of throwing out character tweaks that retroactively cast the many faces of Hogwarts in different perspectives – from Dumbledore being gay to the possibility that Hermione isn’t white. Fans however, tired of Rowling constantly touting a diversity that the installments of her franchise fail to reflect, seem to have reached a boiling point over the weekend.

The controversy arose in response to a special feature from the Fantastic Beasts 2: Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray where Rowling spoke of the “intense” and “passionate” homosexual relationship between Dumbledore and the titular villain—a relationship which, despite this alleged intensity, the film skips over entirely:

Rowling’s statements mark the latest instance of the author making offhanded claims of representation which she continually fails to explore or engage with across the Potter-verse. Not only have fans taken note of this frustrating trend – they’ve spoken up:

Many believe that limiting these character traits to interviews and special features only to completely ignore them when it comes to the main installments of your franchise poses a larger issue. Fans who have come to notice Rowling’s growing trend of shallow and retroactive inclusiveness were not only compelled to air their grievances, but also translate the author’s habit of spilling tea on the random kinks of her characters into a rich, mileage-heavy meme:

This is merely the latest controversy to be spun out of The Crimes of Grindelwald, which Rowling also drew heat for regarding her casting and continued support of Johnny Depp in light of his domestic abuse allegations.

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