The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle has removed any references to Harry Potter author JK Rowling from an exhibition celebrating the fictional wizard, due to her “super hateful and divisive” comments about the transgender community.
“There’s a certain cold, heartless, joy-sucking entity in the world of Harry Potter and, this time, it is not actually a Dementor,” the exhibit’s project manager Chris Moore, who is transgender, wrote in a blog explaining the decision to axe Rowling from the museum.
Moore added: “This certain person is a bit too vocal with her super hateful and divisive views to be ignored.” The blog post also explained that the series creator’s absence is a short-term measure to “reduce her impact” while the museum determines its “long-term practices.”
According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the Harry Potter exhibit remains on display but without any mention whatsoever about the creator of the series, which has sold over 500 million books globally since 1997. JK Rowling was inducted into the museum’s hall of fame in 2018.
In a statement, the museum said that it is “proud to support our employees and unequivocally stands with the nonbinary and transgender communities.”
Rowling initially courted controversy in 2019 when she issued a message on social media in support of a British woman who’d lost her job after she herself tweeted that a woman could not change her biological sex.
“I absolutely knew that if I spoke out, many people who love my books would be deeply unhappy with me,” the author said in a podcast interview earlier this year. She added that the backlash against her views has led to her being “scared at times for my safety and, overwhelmingly, for my family’s safety.”
Rowling was absent last year at events to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter book – with each of the film series’ three stars having expressed their opposition to her statements about transgender people.
Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played Harry Potter in the eight movies that have taken in more than $7.7 billion at the box office globally, said that he was “hurt” by Rowling’s comments. Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, also said, “Trans women are women, trans men are men,” while Emma Watson announced a donation to a transgender charity in the wake of Rowling’s comments.
Rowling is one of the world’s most successful authors. In 2008, nine years after the release of the first Harry Potter book, she was named by Forbes magazine as the world’s highest-earning author.