JK Rowling targets trans journalist who suggested boycott of Harry Potter video game

JK Rowling next to an image of her tweet, which is cut out in front of a still from the Hogwarts Legacy video game.

Author JK Rowling has targeted a trans gaming journalist and video producer who suggested boycotting new Harry Potter releases – including the upcoming video game Hogwarts Legacy.

Jessie Earl explained in a Saturday (17 December) tweet that she doesn’t “begrudge anyone” for enjoying the Harry Potter books and movies, but believes supporting media such as Hogwarts Legacy would be “harmful”.

The self-declared “TERFmas” celebrator tweeted in response with a seemingly hyperbolic declaration that she believes software development company “purethink is incompatible with owning ANYTHING connected with me”.

“The truly righteous wouldn’t just burn their books and movies but the local library, anything with an owl on it and their own pet dogs.”

JK Rowling then said she was “appalled” by those who wish to read the Harry Potter books in spite of the author’s controversial comments on trans rights.

“All fine and dandy until you get drunk and accidentally quote one, sonny,” she wrote. “‘I never did it in public’ won’t save you when the police see your Hufflepuff socks.”

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Earl then replied to what she called an “honestly nonsensical argument” almost immediately, writing that she would be taking a brief hiatus from “the Musk app” because she believed Rowling “knows she’s sending harassment my way”.

Many pro-trans activists commented on Rowling’s post, saying that her excessive response to Earl’s statement was unnecessary.

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“How do you keep telling yourself you’re in the right when this is your reaction to a completely reasonable statement?” one user said.

Another wrote: “Surely you understand that people are allowed to make choices about how they spend their money, right?”

Others pointed out that Rowling somehow compared people opting not to play a video game with burning books or local libraries.

“Who said anything about book burning?” A user wrote.

“Jessie Earl is not book burning, nor preventing you from speaking on this powerful platform,” another wrote. “She’s merely challenging your irrational intolerance.”

Pushing aside JK Rowling’s beliefs that not playing a video game is akin to burning local libraries – and her seeming belief that she, on some level, popularised owls – activists have found plenty of other reasons not to purchase Hogwarts Legacy.

Elements of the game’s storyline have been widely criticised for featuring elements of an already well-documented controversy on antisemitism within the Harry Potter universe.

Early reveals of the storyline seem to suggest that one of the main villain groups will be the goblin race, who have routinely been likened to antisemitic stereotypes pushed by Nazis in the 1930s.

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