The Harry Potter reunion special, titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, will bring together the major cast members of the franchise including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, Mark Williams, Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, and Ralph Fiennes.
One name that is curiously missing in the promos of the special is JK Rowling, the author of the Potter books and the progenitor of the Wizarding World franchise. It was previously thought that the studio wanted to avoid controversy over Rowling’s alleged transphobic comments and that is why she is missing from the show.
But the reason may well be that Rowling thought her archival footage would serve the purpose. Sources told Entertainment Weekly that her transphobic statements did not play a role in deciding whether she would be a part of the episode. But even her archival footage is used “sparingly”, reports Entertainment Weekly.
Rowling has in recent times attracted the ire of transgenders, activists and their allies, many of whom have been re-evaluating the diversity quotient in her books. Her supporters are saying even if her opinion is inconvenient or distasteful for some, she should have the right to express it.
She is often called a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) among other things. The stars of the Harry Potter films have also taken issue with her comments, including the main three, albeit not directly. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character, said in a long statement posted on The Trevor Project, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
Emma Watson tweeted, “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”
Rupert Grint spoke to The Times, “I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgement.”
Also part of the reunion are producer David Heyman and directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates.