J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, will not participate in HBO Max's upcoming 20-year anniversary special for the franchise amid controversy over her remarks about gender.
HBO Max listed some of the iconic actors from the franchise participating in the special, such as Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, but notably omitted J.K. Rowling in an announcement for the special Tuesday, as the author faces backlash for mocking the use of the term "people who menstruate."
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Rowling will be featured in archival footage but will not make a new appearance in the film, a source close to the project told the Hollywood Reporter. The special will focus on the creation of the movies specifically.
The author has previously attracted controversy for her statements about transgender people, such as mocking the use of the gender-neutral phrase "people who menstruate" and liking a tweet that called transgender women "men in dresses." She subsequently said the "clumsy and middle-aged moment" when she liked that tweet occurred while conducting research for an upcoming novel.
Since then, she has emphasized that she is strongly opposed to discrimination against transgender people but feels that biological sex is a real concept.
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
In 2020, Rowling wrote an essay expressing concerns about "the dangers to young people, gay people and about the erosion of women’s and girl’s rights" and published Troubled Blood, which tells the story of a missing doctor who was suspected to have been murdered by a cross-dresser.
Despite the fierce backlash from those threatening to beat, kill and rape her, Rowling received support from comedian Dave Chappelle, who argued last month she was unfairly "canceled" for her opinions. Chappelle subsequently also faced significant backlash for his discussion of transgender issues.
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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will be released on Jan. 1 on HBO Max.
The Washington Examiner reached out to HBO Max for comment but did not hear back.