That’s Enough, JK Rowling! Stop Trying To Make Harry Potter More Inclusive

1553023301649 harry potter jk rowling fantastic beasts dumbledore gay. 001 - that's enough, jk rowling! Stop trying to make harry potter more inclusivePeople can’t get enough of Harry Potter, and JK Rowling is giving it to them in the form of senseless and often problematic alterations to the HP universe. Much like how George Lucas launched his controversial set of prequels for the Star Wars universe, JK Rowling began tweaking, changing, and adding unnecessary pieces of information to change her mostly white and cis gender cast of characters. Most of these alterations aim at making the whole universe way more inclusive than what a white writer from the UK would have produced back in the 1980’s and 90’s (which is exactly when this whole business was cooking).

Harry Potter is a landmark series of children’s and young adult literature. Its success is in part due to the captivating stories of each individual episode of the seven book saga, as well as the entire transmedia phenomenon that exploded in the early 2000s: movies, action figures, videogames, theme parks… And some of that was even before the last three books were published. Once the whole thing ended, it felt like everything was tightly and neatly wrapped up, a universe so perfectly brought to life that it didn’t need much more. It was if Rowling had thought of everything.
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She didn’t initially think of where Wizards pooped, though. In January 2019, a Pottermore tweet explained Hogwarts didn’t adopt plumbing until it was invented.

Why wouldn’t they just poop like muggles had been doing for ages? You know… In an enclosed space, in a hole, and then made it vanish? No, they had to go extra crazy with this. Let’s not discuss how gross this is for now, and instead focus on how this changes the entire logic of the Chamber of Secrets’s entrance through the girls’ bathroom. But Pottermore had some lame explanation for this.

And even before that, Rowling has claimed Hogwarts was diverse AF with Jewish students on its roster, even though there’s absolutely no mention of beliefs in the books. You would think that with all the Nazi analogies of Wizards vs Muggles, a reference to Jewish student body shouldn’t be subtle at all, or at least, better explained?

More recently, Rowling’s declarations made headlines last year when the new Fantastic Beasts trailer revealed Naguini had been a human all along, a Korean lady, to be exact.

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She explained Naguini wasn’t an animagus but a maledictus, the difference lying on choice: an animagus is a human who chooses to become an animal while a maledictus is a cursed person who is bound to eventually becoming an animal forever against his or her own will. This was her way of including a Korean character in the whole saga. Woke, right? Except Neville totally and epically cut the head off of that snake at the end of the series. Is Neville a murderer now? Did he summarily execute Naguini? And why was Naguini Korean, anyway? The name is surely from India. Minorities aren’t interchangeable, Rowling.

When The Cursed Child, Rowling’s sequel play, was cast, there were many questions when producers cast Noma Dumezweni as Hermione, which was odd but not terrible at all. Yet Rowling defended this choice by claiming she never fully explained Hermione’s skin color. And that just felt lame. If Hermione was a black character, wouldn’t it have been more of a statement to fully declare so?
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But perhaps the first big WTF moment of retcon (retroactive continuity) was in 2007, when Rowling confirmed Albus Dumbledore was gay. Unsurprisingly, controversy ensued. All of the conservative opinions aside, while many members of the LGBT community took it as validation, others were skeptical, and with good reason. Considering Harry Potter’s clear anti-bigotry message, it now feels kind of odd that there’s absolutely no textual evidence of Dumbledore’s queerness in the saga. Not only is his sexual orientation thus irrelevant, but now it’s also problematic: why would he choose to remain closeted in times of fierce discrimination? Why wouldn’t he speak for the LGBT community when, at the same time, he was so staunchly anti anti-muggles? 

Rather than lay low on the topic, Rowling seemed to feel like the champion of voiceless communities and doubled down on the whole Dumbledore gayness. In the DVD commentary of the latest HP movie she commented: “Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows, really, what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know. So I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.” So now we have this super elaborate gay backstory that nobody even asked for. 

And as Out magazine said:

Well you know what, Ms. Rowling? I’m much more interested in the sexual side and have several questions. Who topped? Who bottomed? Did they use wands as sex toys? … Do you have any details about whether wizards are magically able to make bottoming more pleasurable? Can wizards create lube out of nowhere?  Rowling, your silence is deafening.

Understandably, social media has taken it to themselves to make as much fun of all these changes as possible. A Reddit thread asked users to imagine a situation: “You gain control of JK Rowling’s twitter account for a day. What unnecessary piece of information do you add to Harry Potter lore?”, while many Twitter users have parodied Rowling’s sudden bursts of information.

It’s ok, Rowling, you weren’t so aware enough of some of these communities back in the 90s, hardly anyone who wasn’t part of them was, but lessons were learned, so write another saga that is full of LGBT, POC, and socialist millennial characters, but for the love of god, leave Harry Potter be!

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