JK Rowling didn’t want to go to the Harry Potter reunion but was asked

The 20-year reunion of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone happened over New Year’s. The reunion brought back many familiar faces and places and I’m sure meant the world to those who grew up with the books and movies. When the first teaser was released, we discussed J.K. Rowling’s name being omitted and the questions about her involvement. When the trailer came out it was confirmed that the author would appear in archival footage but not participate in the show itself. It was widely assumed at the time that J.K. had been purposefully excluded due to her firm transphobic stance that she insists on spouting any opportunity she gets. It was also believed there was friction with the stars since people like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson had condemned J.K.’s TERF comments. Now, however, J.K. is saying that wasn’t the case at all. She claims she was asked to do the special, but *she* made the choice not to so that the focus could remain on the films.

J.K. Rowling is setting the record straight about why she didn’t take part in HBO Max’s Harry Potter New Year’s Day reunion special . Marking 20 years since the first film adaptation of Rowling’s books about the boy wizard hit theaters, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts featured franchise stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, though Rowling herself only appeared via old interview footage.

Speaking to Graham Norton on Virgin Radio in the U.K. on Saturday, the writer shared that she opted out because the special was focused on the films rather than the book series that inspired them.

“I was asked to be on that, and I decided I didn’t want to do it,” she told Norton. “I thought it was about the films more than the books, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about.

“No one said ‘don’t come,'” she clarified. “I was asked to do it and I decided not to.”
When asked if she still remains in touch with the Harry Potter actors, including those who have expressed disapproval of her comments about sex and gender, Rowling said, “Yes — some more than others.” She noted that she had always been closer to certain stars, but did not name anyone specifically.

[From Yahoo]

I know Graham Norton likes to remain absolutely neutral, but I’m disappointed he gave J.K. any airtime at all. Aren’t there some people we can just ignore? Speaking of remaining neutral, I tried with this story. I wondered if perhaps HBO offered an olive branch to J.K. in the interest of the Harry Potter fandom. But I can’t, J.K.’s blowing smoke here. Rumors of her being excluded came out the minute the teaser dropped. If she’d been asked, she’d have said that at the time or demanded HBO did. Plus, this nonsense about it “being about the films,” she didn’t let it be about the films when they were coming out. She inserted herself in that press tour and the premiere’s red carpet, why the change of heart? As for how she’s getting away with this now, she has distance on her side. If she’d said something around the time of the special, it would have been corrected. Most now will roll their eyes but leave it alone. That’s what J.K. was banking on. The only thing she may not have thought about is Daniel Radcliffe doing press for his Weird Al movie soon. He’ll be polite but if asked about her creative retelling of history, there’s a chance Daniel will set the record straight.

As for those actors she still stays in touch with, I’ll bet a lot more of them are connected to Fantastic Beasts than Harry Potter. It’s so sad to listen to her these days. I wasn’t a Harry Potter fan (I wasn’t not a Harry Potter fan, I just didn’t get into the series) but I loved that she created this world for people. And there was so much to admire about J.K. and her story. But when she stopped listening to those she was hurting, and insisted on causing pain and in some cases harm to people who had looked up to her, it was heartbreaking. At least we still have Harry.

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11 Responses to “JK Rowling didn’t want to go to the Harry Potter reunion but was asked”

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  1. Sybil says:

    i dont agree with JK Rowlings point of view , but she has a right to her opinion, Norton has a right to invite her and those who dont agree have the right not to listen. Unless what she says is considered legally as hate speech, her opinion can exist, we as consumers need to decide what views to consume.

    • C says:

      As Galop UK states, hate speech is a broad range that can include but is not limited to criminal acts. So Rowling’s speech is still hate speech, legally or not. She does not have the “right” to it and those who encourage her are complicit.

    • Kokiri says:

      You know the saying: everything before a “but” is a lie?

      Case in point, right here.

      No, people don’t have a “right” to their opinions. People should have a right to food, healthcare, housing, but people don’t seem to worried about those rights, do they?

      So JK can have all the seats.

      • SarahCS says:

        Her opinions are actively fuelling a mindset and behaviours that result in people being harassed, attacked and murdered. That is not acceptable.

      • Lionel says:

        Saying “people don’t have a right to their opinions” is a very dangerous road to tread, Kokiri.

      • DK says:

        @Lionel, sure, people have a right to their opinions.

        They do NOT, however, have a right to a platform for expressing them.

        Also, there is a difference between a harmless “opinion,” and statements which cause violence.

        Not only do transphobic statements like Rowling makes inspire others to physical violence against trans folkx, but when she advocates against rights for transgender folkx, she is actively causing mental and emotional harm against them.

        There are plenty of studies that demonstrate clearly that refusing or eliminating rights for transgender people exacerbates mental health.

        When she expresses her opinions, she causes violence, both directly and indirectly.

        So sure, she has a right to think her hateful opinions in her head.
        She has *no right* to cause violence by expressing them, and Graham Norton, whom I usually like, should not have offered her a platform for spreading such violence.

  2. Zoochy says:

    Somehow I doubt there are too many actors that keep in touch with Ms. Rowling.

  3. Steph says:

    I’m calling bs in this as well. Rowling has always been an integral part of everything Harry Potter, but just the author. She still holds the creative control and rights to it all. Nothing gets done within that works without her approval. She was the one who gave the final ok for having butterbeer and fire whiskey at the parks bc she wouldn’t let them do it without her approving the taste. So, she may have asked and turned down appearing but that’s bc she knew how it would effect the project but bc it was about the films.
    Plus, Watson was a bigger part of the reunion than Radcliffe or Grunt. She was more of the host than guest. She is on record saying she will never do anything HP related again with Rowling.

    • Dillesca says:

      Yes, I call BS. For the reasons you gave but also because she is clearly ALL IN on making movies on her Harry Potter IP. Why wouldn’t she want to promote the Harry Potter franchise, if only to get some attention to Fantastic Beasts?

  4. Amy Bee says:

    In the UK, everything is up for debate so allowing a racist or a transphobe on a radio or TV show is not seen as a wrong thing to do.

  5. Kokiri says:

    This trick still trying it on, I see.

    & the beasts franchise is crap. Here’s hoping they don’t make the last 2 movies, cause I heard rumours she wants Depp back.