The Harry Potter franchise has one of the biggest fandoms in the world, though it often expresses its disappointment in creator J.K. Rowling and the messages she chooses to share on social media, with Universal Parks & Resorts recently responding to Rowling's remarks promoting transphobia that their mission statement is to promote diversity and inclusion among not only its staff, but also guests. Fans of the franchise haven't been the only ones to speak out about her comments, as star Daniel Radcliffe penned an essay about the dangers of Rowling's remarks, as well as expressing his empathy not only to those more directly impacted by her words, but with the complicated nature of being disappointed by a creator who birthed such a powerful narrative.
“Our core values include diversity, inclusion, and respect for all our guests, as well as our team members," Universal Studios shared in a statement with The Hollywood Reporter. "Our theme parks are places where people and families of all types are welcome to enjoy their time together. Beyond that, we have no further comment.”
Universal Studios highlights the franchise at their parks in Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Osaka, Japan with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
While social media has allowed fans to connect with creators in ways previously made difficult, the drawback to a platform like Twitter is learning things you wish you didn't know about those responsible for your favorite fables. Rowling has a long history of riling up fans, not only with retroactively sharing canonical details about Harry Potter, but also with various other critiques of the LGBTQ+ community.
"‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" the author shared on Twitter earlier this month. "If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth."
She added, "I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so."
Among the many points Radcliffe addressed in his op-ed, the most direct was his noting, "Transgender women are women."
Warner Bros. has yet to offer an official response on the matter, the studio working with Rowling to develop the Fantastic Beasts series of films.
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