It is time for us to admit that the Harry Potter series has run its course. After two decades of overwhelming success, new projects of the series only exist to line the pockets of those involved in production, rather than because the fans want the content. I am biased since I did not jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon as I did not see the appeal of Harry Potter. I always try to make excuses as to why I am not a fan of the series, but now I feel like the reasons are falling into my lap.
I am sure that by now, most people are aware of the controversy surrounding J. K. Rowling following a blog post and several tweets that have branded her as transphobic, and for this reason alone I cannot support the Harry Potter series. People will always debate whether you can separate the art from the artist, but I have always felt unable to, due to overwhelming guilt – I cannot listen to the music of Michael Jackson, Chris Brown or Kanye West as examples, as all I think about are the allegations surrounding them. However, many people are still happy to support the Harry Potter series and recently rumours have begun to spread about a potential TV series in the works at HBO Max.
I have many reasons to be against the production of the series and the dispute surrounding the views of the author is just the beginning. Each time a new Harry Potter project is forged, a product is sold, or an old movie is streamed, we are putting money into the pockets of someone who quite honestly, does not deserve it after the awful words she has spouted online. She has alienated an entire community of people but still has loyal fans defending her actions – if Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson made the same comments as Rowling, the series would be boycotted immediately. Since Rowling’s face is not what we think of when we picture the series, people find it easier to still support it, forgetting the horrible things she has said.
Even the Harry Potter spin-off has been inundated with problems, specifically the treatment of actor Johnny Depp, who was forced to step down from his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The situation is so complicated, yet a rash decision was made. Rather than recasting, the series should finish where it is. The drama surrounding Depp will hang over the film, no matter how hard Warner Bros try to erase his image.
I believe that the Harry Potter series has been drawn out for too long. It feels as though Warner Bros, Rowling, HBO and any other name involved in the potential production of the series are not making it for fans to enjoy, they are purely making it for the money they know it will bring them – because it will bring them money. There are hardcore fans that will spare no expense on the latest Harry Potter gimmicks.
Relying on remakes and reboots is a successful strategy for companies to make money. Disney has been popping out remakes of our old favourites for years as they know people will cling to their childhood nostalgia. I am guilty of this and would love a live action version of Tangled! But if companies rely on remakes for their income, the future generations will not consume any original content. How will our children feel having only remakes of our old favourites? I say this, somewhat hypocritically, as a huge fan of the modern remake of Dynasty, but I know that I also watch original films and TV shows, such as Stranger Things and Soul. It’s all about finding a balance between the remade and brand-new content.
There are so many more intriguing, well-written book series that would make great movie or TV adaptations, if that is what companies decide to rely on. I know readers would absolutely love watching their favourite characters from Throne of Glass or the Grisha Trilogy. With so many more options out there, it is time to put the Harry Potter series to bed and allow another promising writer to thrive in its place, instead of a transphobe who has been in the public eye for long enough.
Words by Lauren Taylor
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