Hogwarts Legacy is set to become one of the most anticipated video games of 2023. However, it is also facing controversies and boycotts due to its association with Harry Potter creator J. K. Rowling.
With Harry Potter video games being released for over two decades, Hogwarts Legacy finally offers fans the open-world wizarding experience they have been eagerly waiting for. Despite this excitement, the franchise has faced criticism from fans who have begun to distance themselves due to J. K. Rowling’s comments about the trans community.
In this article, we aim to shed light on the reasons why people are boycotting Hogwarts Legacy.
Associations with J. K. Rowling: The Root of the Boycott
The main reason for the boycott of Hogwarts Legacy is the association with J. K. Rowling, who has been accused of making transphobic comments on various occasions in recent years. LGBTQ+ media charity GLAAD has compiled a list of these comments, with the primary concern being an essay published by Rowling on June 10, 2020.
In the essay, she listed “five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism,” where she expressed concerns about young women wishing to transition and the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning. The essay also touched on the bathroom debate, which has been the subject of much media attention in recent years.
Response from the LGBTQ+ Community
In response to Rowling’s comments, the LGBTQ+ charity Mermaids issued a statement calling on the Harry Potter author to meet with trans young people and listen to them before speaking about them.
Mermaids stated that while they do not consider it a crime for women to express concern, it is considered abusive and damaging when people conflate trans women with male sexual predators, impute sexual criminality to trans identities, and share uncorroborated and inaccurate information that severely damages the lives of trans and non-binary people.
Rowling has also faced backlash for her novel Troubled Blood (published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith), which features a cisgender male serial killer who dresses up as a woman to lure victims.
Mermaids referred to this as a long-standing and tired trope that is responsible for the demonization of a small group of people. Additionally, Rowling has ‘liked’ a tweet that referred to trans women as “men in dresses,” which her representatives defend as a “clumsy and middle-aged moment,” and tweeted “Big love to you” to Caroline Farrow, who has been called an “anti-trans, anti-gay, anti-abortion activist” by PinkNews.
Support from the Cast of Harry Potter
Several cast members from the Harry Potter movies have spoken out in support of the trans community following Rowling’s comments, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright, and Eddie Redmayne. In a statement via The Trevor Project, Daniel Radcliffe expressed his apologies for the pain caused by Rowling’s comments and encouraged fans not to lose what was valuable in the stories.
The Harry Potter franchise has also been accused of perpetuating harmful antisemitic tropes with its depiction of goblins, which is now receiving extra scrutiny as Hogwarts Legacy requires players to fight against a “Goblin Rebellion.”
What the Devs of Hogwarts Legacy have to Say
Although the creators of Hogwarts Legacy have not directly addressed J. K. Rowling’s divisive comments, game director Alan Tew briefly touched on the controversy in a recent IGN interview. Tew stated that the game has faced challenges, but the team has refocused on what they care about and believes that fans fell in love with the Wizarding World for the right reasons
Hogwarts Legacy is one of the most highly anticipated video games of 2023, but its association with J.K. Rowling has led to a great deal of controversy and calls for boycotts. Though the author is not directly associated with the game itself, since the game is based on her novel Harry Potter, has put the game in controversies
Rowling’s comments about the trans community and her history of transphobia have caused many fans to question whether they should support the game or not. The game developers have not directly addressed the controversy, but remain focused on delivering the best experience for their players. As fans of the Harry Potter