J.K. Rowling, the author of the original “Harry Potter” books, will work as the executive producer on Max’s new series reboot. The show will adapt the original books once again, this time in the form of a television show instead of a film franchise. The new “Harry Potter” show on Max will also star an all-new cast.
Your Hogwarts letter is here.
— Max (@StreamOnMax) April 12, 2023
The confirmation of the new show is receiving mixed reviews online. Readers of the original books and viewers of the original film franchise alike feel that a reboot of the classic films is unnecessary. Others do not want the series to happen because of the author’s controversies. Notably, Rowling once vaguely insinuated that she wrote Hermione’s character with a Black actress in mind. To combat the commentary surrounding the writer’s prejudices, some fear she will cast “token diversity” actors in the titular roles.
If they make Hermione black I’ll SCREAM LOL remember when JKR was like “well I never said she WASNT black! Hee hee!” Like, lady………
— Ashley Reese (@offbeatorbit) April 12, 2023
The announcement comes after years of controversies surrounding Rowling. While the books and film franchise that starred Daniel Radcliffe in the titular role have long maintained a massive fan base, Rowling’s comments on the transgender community have sparked criticism. She published an essay on her website titled “TERF Wars,” and many readers felt that she invalidated the existence of trans women. “TERF” stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism. Fans of the franchise were disappointed to learn of her views, as the original story centers on self-acceptance and friendship.
"The ‘Harry Potter’ story is incredibly affirmative and positive and about love and self-acceptance"
Not to mention the pro slavery message and the "love potions" used as a joke. https://t.co/jiMwXZdGUF
— Poes ΘΔ (@PoesMyaa) April 12, 2023
In addition to the commentary on Rowling’s transphobia, some readers reflecting on the series noticed other controversies. Some feel that the writing insinuated harmful stereotypes about Jewish people, Black people, and mixed-race people. The term “mudblood” is used in the book as an insult to students at the fictional Hogwarts who have one wizard parent and one human parent. Additionally, the goblins who run Gringott’s bank depict harmful Jewish stereotypes of greed.
They gonna cast a lil Black girl as Hermione and she’s gonna get called slurs on and off the show pic.twitter.com/VbZEvsNYDs
— Exquisite Armantè (@ExquisiteWill) April 12, 2023
The original cast of the “Harry Potter” films have worked to distance themselves from the franchise because of Rowling’s views. Both Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who played the original Hermione Granger, have partnered with advocacy groups in support of the transgender community. Notably, Radcliffe recently teamed up with the Trevor Project on a video series called “Sharing Space.” The Trevor Project works to prevent suicide in LGBTQ+ youth.
Some Twitter users are surprised that Max picked up the series, given its long commitment to positive LGBTQ+ representation. Recent network hits like “The Last Of Us” and “The White Lotus” received praise for their diverse LGBTQ+ representation. Some fear that Rowling is going to attempt to overcompensate for her prior lack of representation and controversies, which could result in cancellation.
jk rowling realizing a new "faithful" harry potter adaptation would have to include a black girl being in the wrong for saying slavery is bad pic.twitter.com/LA5smihx3J
— Neb | ????️???? (@NebsGoodTakes) April 12, 2023
Many already vow to boycott the series.
If JK Rowling is connected to it, I won’t be watching it.
I care more about my trans family and friends.
It’s just a show … or a book, or a game, or a movie.
Their livelihoods matter more to me then entertainment.
— Sharareh Drury (@shararehdrury) April 12, 2023
Rowling and Max have not announced casting choices or a release date yet.