This New Year’s Day saw the Harry Potter Reunion Special debut on HBOMax. Almost a decade after the end of the “Harry Potter” movies, it’s amazing to see this wonderful cast of actors and filmmakers come together to celebrate the magic this series has given us. However, there has been an interesting backlash against these movies, as well as the original bestselling books, in light of the transphobic comments JK Rowling has made since 2019.
“By wrapping these books, I have metaphorically locked away years of intense involvement in the ‘Harry Potter’ fandom, from fanfiction writing and going to conventions to moderating online fan communities and maintenance. friendships that I made within them, “wrote Aja Romano, a columnist at Vox and former “Harry Potter” fan in 2020.
I started to think about all the books, music, movies and TV shows that people refuse to indulge in because of the opinions and actions of the creators. I think that in order to preserve the sanctity of art, one must learn to separate the art from artist.
However, we must recognize the terrible truths about these people and not belittle them just because we appreciate their work. Eric Clapton may be the greatest guitarist alive, but he shockingly promoted skepticism about the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rolling stone. JK Rowling might be one of the defining perpetrators of my childhood, but I hate the comments she made disabling transgender people.
But why should art suffer? It is still the same art, after all, and as long as there is nothing in it to condone the artist’s actions, I see no reason why this art should not be celebrated. The “Harry Potter” books and films are still incredibly inspiring to many people, including myself, despite the creator’s horrific comments.
Not to mention, what about the other people who participated in these projects? Many actors, editors, producers, etc. that have nothing to do with the actions of JK Rowling or Eric Clapton earn money from the residues of this art. Should Diane Keaton lose money because she starred in “Annie Hall”, which had Woody Allen as its director, screenwriter and lead actor?
I understand that there are people who will see this art and be unable to separate art from artists to varying degrees. It’s hard to watch reruns of “The Cosby Show” knowing that the creator and star have hurt so many women for decades. It can be difficult to read books by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl knowing he was an anti-Semite. And, as good as “I Believe I Can Fly” is, it’s hard to hear this song and not think about all the terrible things R. Kelly has done.
And, although not having acted in the movies, I understand how uncomfortable some can feel watching the “Harry Potter” movies or reading the books knowing JK Rowling’s thoughts on people. transgender. All reactions to art are shaped by our experiences, which means that there are different things that we can and cannot put up with.
But we must not allow good art to be tarnished. Because I believe there will come a day when transgender people will be fully respected and JK Rowling’s comments will have turned to dust as the “Harry Potter” franchise lives on as an immersive world of magic and wonder. Because the best art lasts. It is eternal.