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Should Harry Potter be "canceled" because of J.K. Rowling's transphobic statements? Show more Show less
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Prolific writer J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, has gained infamy in recent weeks for her Twitter statements on transgender issues. Amidst a cultural debate about “cancellation,” this has been brought to the forefront. Should the Harry Potter series be disregarded as a response to its authorial bias?

Yes, the Harry Potter series should be “canceled” Show more Show less

Rowling does not deserve to profit from her transphobia, and we should not indulge her hateful rhetoric for the sake of personal gain.
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J.K. Rowling profits from continued media exposure through the Harry Potter series

“All press is good press” is a marketing tactic that has been co-opted in recent years by conservative outlets. By scrutinizing Rowling and her platform, the movement she speaks for gains national attention, whereas it might otherwise fizzle out into unawareness.
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The Argument

Indulging Rowling in the media circus brought on by her stance on transgender issues only serves to commodify and promote her platform. Many may not share her beliefs, but her voice is amplified due to the popularity of her books. Any response to her shines a light on a movement that may not have gained much attention otherwise.[1] J.K. Rowling is one of the most affluent and prolific authors of this century, and as such, has been afforded many privileges, including access to a far-reaching platform. When she chooses to use that platform for hate and negative rhetoric, much of which has been disproved by scientific study, she shows the world that she can get away with almost anything due to her powerful status.[2] An arbitrary “cancellation” of the author has proven to be ineffective in this circumstance. Rowling has gone on to publish a book that perpetuates harmful stereotypes about cross-dressing and trans people.[3] She quite literally profits from the controversial stance she takes. As such, the only way to meaningfully counteract her controversial views is to stop buying and discussing her books on large platforms.[4] This way, she cannot continue to profit off of them, and her cultural relevance is diminished.[5] There are many other authors who write fantasy fiction and represent a much broader range of lived experiences and include genuine diversity in their works. We should be turning towards those authors in modern times, rather than clinging desperately to the outdated and bigoted ones.[6]

Counter arguments

Many LGBTQ youths have adapted Harry Potter for their own use. Taking the series away from them for the sake of public and moral justification is nothing more than badly-intentioned virtue-signaling. Personal feelings towards the Harry Potter series and its relationship with Rowling should not make for a universal decision; instead, each should be allowed to make their own choice about what they deem acceptable.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a32871234/harry-potter-jk-rowling-anti-trans-comments/
  2. https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/1269382518362509313
  3. https://archive.is/fhQED
  4. https://www.vox.com/culture/21285396/jk-rowling-transphobic-backlash-harry-potter
  5. https://www.glamour.com/story/a-complete-breakdown-of-the-jk-rowling-transgender-comments-controversy
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/mar/09/jk-rowling-under-fire-for-appropriating-navajo-tradition-history-of-magic-in-north-america-pottermore
This page was last edited on Thursday, 22 Oct 2020 at 18:01 UTC