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New Year’s Day brought about an exciting event for Harry Potter fans, who woke from their hungover states on 1st January to watch Harry, Ron and Hermione reunite 20 years after the first film was released.
But none of those magical movies would have materialised without JK Rowling, the Scottish author who wrote the books which were brought to life on screen. It’s for this reason that fans are confused about JK Rowling’s lack of attendance at the reunion.
JK Rowling did not attend the Harry Potter reunion in person, but she did make an appearance in archive footage and was the topic of conversation at some points.
During the episode, the stars and producers of the film praised her writing and the impact it had on audiences, which is when she appeared on screen in archive footage.
In the weeks leading up to the reunion episode, it was widely reported that JK Rowling was iced out of it due to the controversy surrounding her opinions on transgender issues.
In June 2020, JK Rowling took to Twitter to criticise an article which used the term, “people who menstruate,” instead of ‘women’ and continued in a thread to talk about biological sex.
The 56-year-old subsequently received major backlash from the transgender community for these comments, even receiving rape and death threats. Responding to the criticism at the time, JK Rowling said she respects “every trans person's rights to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” and went on to say she would march “if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans.
“At the same time,” she added, “my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so.”
In September 2020, JK Rowling came under fire again for transphobia after it was discovered the the villain in her latest book, Troubled Blood, which was written under Rowling's pseudonym Robert Galbraith, is a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims.
This time, Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grinch, Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne (who stars in Fantastic Beasts) joined in criticising the author.
Due to the controversy surrounding JK Rowling’s opinions, it’s assumed that she didn’t attend the Harry Potter reunion in person to avoid the focus of the episode being taken away from the films.
Instead, JK Rowling appears in archive footage and is the topic of conversation at several points when talking about the success of the books and subsequently the films. Therefore, it looks like the producers of the reunion found a way to pay tribute to JK Rowling’s work without any drama.
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