“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling came under fire again recently for a string of tweets and writing that many felt confirmed her to be a TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, and made her transphobic.Following the comments people started to joke that other popular figures like Britney Spears or even Daniel Radcliffe had actually penned the wildly popular “Harry Potter” novels — a meme format that originated with Minecraft where fans try to protect their favorites by shifting authorship from a canceled person to someone else. Some, however, argue that jokingly attributing the books to a different figure fails to force people to confront problematic elements of the books themselves.Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling has come under fire again recently for a string of tweets and an essay that led to many labeling her as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF. A statement she published in order to explain her “reasons for speaking out on sex and gender issues” only increased vitriol as she continued to espouse controversial rhetoric trans identity. Celebrities, and “Harry Potter” actors like Daniel Radcliffe, called her out, with many calling her tweets transphobic. After her initial series of tweets on June 6, another strain of discussion emerged as people were driven to divorce the author from her beloved work. Twitter was soon filled with claims that a variety of pop stars and public figures — none of whom were J.K. Rowling — had actually written the popular series.—ben ? (@lntheblackout) June 7, 2020—Cautionriah ft. Godkira (@ProceedWithMC) June 7, 2020—gianna (@lonelyfilms) June 6, 2020 The memes seem to have emerged out of a dissonance between people’s persisting love for the “Harry Potter” books and their opinion that her remarks were transphobic. After getting cancelled multiple times, as she discusses in her statement, there’s a drive to divorce her controversial reality from the fictional world of her most popular work.This meme format traces back to a meme started by a parody account of virtual Japanese pop star Hatsune Miku. The account claimed back in March 2019 that Miku had made “Minecraft” instead of the game’s creator, Markus “Notch” Persson, who wasn’t invited to “Minecraft’s” 10th anniversary in 2019 due to remarks people called transphobic, sexist, and otherwise problematic.
—@mikumiku_ebooks (@mikumiku_ebooks) March 29, 2019From that point onward, the format of the meme spread online. While it was initially tied to Miku, Minecraft, and Notch, the tactic was later applied to Rowling herself back in December 2019 when she tweeted something that critics said was transphobic. —Aaron Schmit ? BLM (@theaaronschmit) December 20, 2019The meme itself has now become tied to problematic creators, and has been attached to Rowling at what appears to be just as large a scale as the original Notch call-out. It’s no longer just Miku that has written “Harry Potter.” It’s also Britney Spears, and Valeria Marini, and Ariana Grande, and no one, or essentially any beloved celebrity who hasn’t been canceled quite as many times as Rowling herself.Many, however, argue that deflecting Rowling’s transphobic comments by pretending that she didn’t write “Harry Potter” fails to address problematic elements of the series itself, as well as the fact that she still earns money off of sales of the books. —ff7 brainrot ✿ (@cloudsmiIes) June 8, 2020Others raised (and have raised in the past) the concern that pretending that J.K. Rowling didn’t write “Harry Potter” allows people to not hold her accountable for what they say are anti-Semitic and racist representations in the books, arguing that it’s impossible to separate the author and her work.
—? Damnation Party ? #bIacklivesmatter (@damnationparty) June 10, 2020—nour | #bIm + acab (@icedcitruss) June 11, 2020—@mikumiku_ebooks (@mikumiku_ebooks) June 6, 2020 Claiming that other people, whether it’s “Harry Potter” cast members or virtual pop stars, wrote “Harry Potter” is a means of grappling with the problematic legacy of the author of a beloved work. Ultimately though, it’s impossible to separate the two. What is clear is that, as Insider’s Canela López reported, Rowling’s comments have had a devastating effect on trans “Harry Potter” fans.