Evanna Lynch, best known for portraying quirky Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films, has addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding series author J.K. Rowling. Instigated off comments Rowling had initially made online in 2020, the author has since been criticized for disparaging the transgender community. At the time, Lynch joined fellow co-stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, calling out Rowling’s insensitivity about the topic on social media.
Recently, Lynch spoke with The Telegraph about the ongoing backlash that Rowling continues to experience. Suggesting that while she has great compassion for transgender people, she is shocked at the level of criticism being leveled at the author. She wishes people would take it easy on Rowling and listen to her. Check out her comments below:
“I was very naive when I was dragged into that conversation. I didn’t even know there were two sides. I had a view of, like, good and bad. I do have compassion for both sides of the argument. I know what it was like to be a teenager who hated my body so much I wanted to crawl out of my skin, so I have great compassion for trans people and I don’t want to add to their pain. I understand being too triggered to be able to have a conversation. If you put me in a room with one of my doctors who treated me in the past, ooh, I’d kick off. Like, I would want to scream and yell names. I do also think it’s important that JK Rowling has been amplifying the voices of detransitioners. I had this impulse to go, ‘Let’s all just stop talking about it’, and I think probably I’m a bit braver now about having uncomfortable conversations…
I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there’s a disagreement over who’s the most vulnerable. I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her.”
What Rowling Controversy Means For The Future Of The Harry Potter Franchise
While the ongoing conversation about Rowling’s comments and the impact they had on the transgender community is complex and nuanced, it has already affected Harry Potter‘s reputation. While the recent COVID-19 pandemic ultimately proved a boon for many authors, with the period reflecting record sales figures, Rowling’s own sales did lag well behind the rest of the industry. Meanwhile, Rowling’s once dedicated fanbase began to decrease substantially to separate themselves from the author’s seemingly anti-trans statements.
Most recently, the backlash surrounding Rowling also translated to the recent release of the Hogwarts Legacy video game. With calls for a worldwide boycott of the game in the leadup to its release, Warner Bros. Games even attempted to distance itself from the author and categorically stated that Hogwarts Legacy “is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.” The game would also introduce the franchise’s first trans character, a barkeeper at The Three Broomsticks.
All this ongoing debate does not appear to have caused Warner Bros. to second-guess possible future collaborations with Rowling. Late last year, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav stated his desire to do “something with J.K. on Harry Potter going forward”, and rumors of a potential film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are currently rampant. However, it was also reported that the Wizarding World franchise was dead following Rowling’s controversy and Fantastic Beasts series‘ underwhelming performance. Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding the infamous Harry Potter author does not look to be settling anytime soon, despite stars like Lynch calling for less inflammatory dialogue.
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Source: The Telegraph