Annoying things are happening again which means discussion time.
So let’s talk background. I started reading when I was 5 and one of the first books I ever read was Harry Potter. It really shaped my reading and it’s a series I reread all the time and love so much. I am one of those people with a designated Harry Potter shelf, and whenever I don’t know what to do I just rewatch HP movies. But, god, is J.K. Rowling annoying.
So if you haven’t heard yet, news broke out that Dumbledore will not be “explicitly” gay in the Fantastic Beasts 2 movie. Yes. The one with Grindelwald. Yes, the fact that Dumbledore was in love with him shaped a lot of the events and it only makes sense that way. Yup. You’re completely right. You’re just not “explicitly” right, silly.
J.K. Rowling announced back in the day, after the series was over, written, done that Dumbledore was in fact gay, and how she thought it was so obvious and how have we not noticed because it’s you know – so obvious. She even remarked “If I’d known it would make you so happy, I would have announced it years ago!”. I can not make that stuff up.
And that’s just the issue. J.K. Rowling is known for declaring things that were never ever said or showed in the books to be true. Dumbledore’s gay, Hermione could have been black etc. That’s just great. You know what’s greater? Actually writing that.
This bothers me for a number of reason. It’s because she clearly realizes that her books weren’t that diverse (or not at all, really). She realizes it. Yet she never takes responsibility for it. She just makes you feel stupid with that “Of course he is, why did you not notice it before?”. And yeah, maybe she intended him to be gay, but she wrote it so covertly and subtly, like she was trying to hide it. And if she have just said that she was afraid of the reactions and approached it honestly, that would be fine. But no. She keeps talking about things that she never wrote, trying to cash in on the things she does not deserve.
Moreover, she now got the opportunity to make this right. Because guess who is writing the script? She is. It just feels super dishonest and everything she says feels so artificial and I just really, really dislike it. There was an opportunity there for her to finally walk the walk, instead of just talking, and she did not do it. And of course, she’s not the one making all the decisions. But if she’s always on Twitter yapping her mouth off about being supportive, why not actually do it.
Or maybe Johnny Depp is so disgusting no one can possibly act in love with him?
Listen, I was represented in Harry Potter. I saw myself in it. A lot of people didn’t. And there’s something about the author-reader relationship that bothers me here. It feel like she is exploiting that relationship and using it in the wrong way. And I feel really uncomfortable with that. I wrote about manipulation in books recently, but this goes beyond. This is outside of books and this is something the Internet made possible. So yay?
EDIT: J.K. Rowling tweeted: “Being sent abuse about an interview that didn’t involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that’s only one installment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what’s even *more* fun?” and then a gif of a guy pressing the mute button. I find this to be even more annoying than the rest of the stuff, just because again, she’s shifting the blame towards the fans and it’s really bad. FYI, I think the fact that she’s getting hate and abuse is awful and there are no excuses, but I think she could have approached this more responsibly and could have handled the whole thing better. And not played the same card again. And told the people to wait a little longer. And they already waited 12 years in Azkaban. Hehe get it?
Another thing that surfaced with these events is people again trashing Harry Potter books and people who love them. And weren’t we over that? People can like whatever they want to like. Should they acknowledge their faults? Absolutely. We should also be over being blind to your favorite things being problematic.
So I would love to hear from you! Any thoughts you’d like to share on the topic? Are you annoyed by these events? Was this something you expected?
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