Ibukun Keyamo
Ibukun Keyamo
Ibukun is a first-year Unb student who loves writing. She is looking forward to working with The Bruns this year.
December 5, 2020

J.K. Rowling: A Rant

Graphic by Josh Vandenborre

Being the author of one of the biggest book series of all time should make you adored by all, shouldn’t it? Well, not for J.K. Rowling. Nope. The author of the Harry Potter books has faced a lot of backlash in 2020, and, to be honest, if J.K. Rowling can be cancelled, literally anyone can be cancelled. I mean, the woman escaped an abusive marriage and wrote the first Harry Potter book in a café while rocking her sleeping baby in a pram. She became a billionaire and then gave away most of her money. She should have been safe. She would have been safe – if she had kept her mouth shut.

After her latest book, a murder mystery, featured a male killer who “masquarades as a woman” as he kills his female victims, Rowling started with a string of comments about transgender folks. She called for an end to gender-affirming care for young trans people and claimed that trans women don’t belong in spaces for women. She even linked an online store that sold ugly anti-trans merchandise. She was made to return a human-rights award and was condemned by a lot of people, including actors like Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe – yup, even the Harry Potter trio was not happy.

Rowling is a big lover of fake social justice too. It is only fake social justice when celebrities, afraid to go against what everybody supports, do things to “support” minority groups just to gain popularity and inclusivity points. Rowling, not only once or twice, has gone back after her books and movies and said some characters were gay or black. Just to say, “hey, y’all, diversity in the entertainment scene just became big now, but I’ve been doing it all along.” Black Hermoine, gay Dumbledore – who apparently had an “incredibly intense” sexual relationship with Grindelwald that we never see – just a few things she’s come up with in recent years.

“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair, and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermoine,” was the Twitter post Rowling put out a few years ago. Yes, but you mysteriously disappeared when they were casting the role and put in Emma Watson? Come on, Rowling! Not to mention the fact that in the early movies Lavender Brown was played by Kathleen Cauley and Jennifer Smith, both black actresses, and then once she had a larger role in the films, she was played by Jessie Cave, a white actress. Where was Rowling’s support for the black acting community then?

Then she goes ahead to announce that a minor character, Anthony Goldstein, a Ravenclaw, was in fact Jewish when somebody asked her if there were any Jews at Hogwarts. Rowling just thumbed through her books and chose the person with the most Jewish-sounding name. We will refrain from going into depth on all of the anti-semitic coding that went into her writing of Gringotts and the goblins.

And has anybody else noticed how she always compares any real-life political issue to something that happened in the Harry Potter books, like when Trump acts like a maniac or does something stupid, it doesn’t take Rowling long to come out and say, “This is exactly like what happened in the second book, 123rd page, sixth paragraph!” 

I’m a big Harry Potter fan, so of course I wanted to give Rowling the benefit of the doubt. But at some point, enough is enough. One word to describe Rowling? FAKE. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the franchise and will probably re-watch the movies a few hundred more times, but Rowling has got to stop ruining her own legacy. For now, I guess I’ll just pretend that Harry Potter was written anonymously.


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