Heartstopper actor Sebastian Croft announced for controversial Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy
Sebastian Croft, who played Ben Hope in LGBTQ+ coming-of-age drama Heartstopper, is part of the voice cast for Hogwarts Legacy.
Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming action role-playing game set a century before the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling.
Ahead of its release in February, it’s been confirmed that Croft will voice the game’s playable character.
He joins Simon Pegg, who’ll play the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Phineas Nigellus Black.
Hogwarts Legacy is the latest extension of the Harry Potter universe and one of the biggest – and most controversial – video game releases of 2023.
Many LGBTQ+ fans plan to boycott the game owing to JK Rowling’s views on trans people.
Since June 2020, when she detailed her ‘gender critical’ views, the author has doggedly campaigned against trans inclusion in single-sex spaces and reforms to Scotland’s gender recognition process that would make it easier for trans people to change the gender marker on their birth certificate.
While Rowling denies she is transphobic and insists she is defending women’s rights, she has been criticised for her interventions, and for using her huge Twitter presence (she has almost 14 million followers) for calling out LGBTQ+ people who criticise her.
Rowling previously singled out a trans journalist who suggested a boycott of the game.
Jessie Earl explained in a 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”.
Rowling posted a screenshot of Earl’s tweet, writing: “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.”
WB Games studio Avalanche, which is developing the game, states on its website that the author is “not directly involved in the creation of the game”.
Aside from Rowling’s rhetoric, Hogwarts Legacy has been criticised for including character which have previously been accused of relying on antisemitic tropes.
Early reveals of the storyline seem to suggest that one of the main villain groups will be the goblin race, which critics have said lean on antisemitic stereotypes pushed by Nazis in the 1930s.
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