fair warning ! this post might be controversial.
i am kind of scared to write this post now of all times, since this is a touchy topic right now, but here goes nothing.
if you’ve been anywhere around the book community in the past day or two, especially book twitter, you would know that there’s
a bit a lot of controversy going on about J.K. Rowling and Fantastic Beasts 2’s representation of Dumbledore’s homosexuality. namely, the fact that it won’t be represented in the film.
but i feel that this situation needs more context to truly be understood. i’ve had a (growing) problem with J.K. Rowling for the past couple of years. let me say this now, i love the Harry Potter series. i grew up with it, and i’ve reread it about a million times. i will likely never stop loving Harry Potter. it holds a near and dear place in my heart, just like it does for thousands of other readers. and i used to like J.K. Rowling. i think she’s the first author to become a billionaire by her books, and there’s no doubt she’s a great businesswoman.
that being said, the representation of minorities in the series (both sexuality-wise and race-wise) really sucks. a strong STRONG majority are white, and none (ZERO) are explicitly queer.
about that “explicitly” in the previous sentence: J.K. Rowling is a big fan of announcing “extra information” that’s not included in the books. who ended up marrying who, that type of thing. OH YEAH, and she also announced awhile ago that Dumbledore is gay. so basically, she chooses to announce to her audience non-canonically that there’s actually a queer character in the series, and then, when she actually has the opportunity to include it in a movie and give some representation, she decides not to. that’s my problem with the situation.
so many times, she’s attempted to make racial and sexual representation canon in the series through means other than THE ACTUAL BOOKS THEMSELVES, which i have a huge problem with. Amanda Foody made a really good point on twitter earlier:
Some things to take away from this Dumblefiasco as a writer–if the rep isn’t on the page, it’s not there. Readers deserve to see themselves explicitly in the text. Real people are tired of only being a franchise’s “headcanon.”
i’m unhappy about the Dumblefiasco™, but what i’m even angrier about is J.K. Rowling’s continued treatment of representation in her books over the past few years. she doesn’t include the representation in the actual book, and then she changes it afterwards to make it seem like she cares about rep. she’s going back on her revised word with Dumbledore, and it makes it clear, to me at least, that she doesn’t care about diverse representation.
i’ve seen the some of the peeps on twitter talking about books you should support instead of Harry Potter (Of Fire and Stars, etc) which have explicitly diverse and queer characters. this is where i get conflicted. i definitely want to support these books, but it’s so hard for me to just drop the HP series after loving it for so long. Harry Potter was one of the largest parts of my early childhood, and it’s the series that had a huge influence on my reading taste. it’s internationally known, like i said before, i grew up with it, i reread it yearly.
but can i really support a series with so little diversity?? with such a problematic author? this is what troubles me. will it contradict my argument earlier to still love the series? will the book community hate me if i still love reading HP? it’s hard to deny that Harry Potter is a feat in writing: the characters development, the worldbuilding, the plot.
i think that from now on, i won’t be completely dropping my love for Harry Potter, but moving on from J.K. Rowling. it’s harder now for me to respect her or look up to her. after all the off-page diversity she’s tried to implement in the past few years, i’ve gradually been moving on from her, but this is the last straw. i’m done.
i can’t write off the hp series; it’s what made me a bookworm. but i can stop supporting the author in other ways. pure nostalgia is the only reason why i still remember Harry Potter fondly.
i’m sorry if this post was messy; i wanted to get my thoughts down now, while they were still fresh in my mind.
this is a discussion post. feel free to disagree with me down below, but please do so respectfully. what are your opinions on the situation? will you still support J.K. Rowling / harry potter? i wanna know.