[Trigger warning for transphobia. Major spoilers for The Crimes of Grindelwald in the last quarter of this post. Skip that part if you haven’t watched the movie yet]
I’ve always defined myself as a Potterhead.
I started reading the series when I was 11 and I basically grew up with Harry. I’ve depended on the series a lot emotionally over the years. You wouldn’t expect a person who’s been referred to as “cold” and “aloof” their entire life to break down crying at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But I did. Twice.
THAT’S how much I love the world J. K. Rowling created.
But she needs to stop.
The woman who made an entire generation fall in love with the written word is slowly losing their respect. And it’s entirely her fault.
Now, this is nothing recent.
We all saw the beginning of her downfall in 2007, right after Deathly Hallows released, when she announced Dumbledore was gay. Back then, I was really happy for the LGBTQ rep. But maybe I should have listened to the other side. Maybe it really was “too little, too late”.
As stupid as it sounds, people love saying that maybe she thought it was too much to include a gay man in what was widely considered a children’s book. It was still 2007. Hey, it’s not like it was a 2018 movie, where Dumbledore could be out and proud, right?
David Yates, in an interview about The Crimes of Grindelwald–a movie JKR wrote the screenplay for–enraged us all by saying Dumbledore wouldn’t be “explicitly gay”.
Playing it safe after all these years, are we? Always.
She did, however, have a decent response for this on Twitter.
The Cursed Child hoopla.
Seriously, what even was that book? No, it wasn’t bad because it was a play. As a person who reads a lot of plays, I have it on good authority that the book wasn’t bad because of its format.
The story was lukewarm, the characters nothing like the original ones in the main series, and what on earth is a Panju? That is not an Indian name and JKR apparently missed out on the research this one time.
But I still made excuses for her. She wrote it with two other people. It’s not fully on Rowling.
Her transphobia–the final straw.
What sealed the deal for me about the fall of my childhood hero was her transphobia. My hero, the vocal SJW and supposed trans-ally, was discovered to be transphobic. This quote from Silkworm about a trans character, Pippa, should’ve made it apparent to me, but as always, I made excuses.
‘If you go for that door one more time I’m calling the police and I’ll testify and be glad to watch you go down for attempted murder. And it won’t be fun for you Pippa,’ he added. ‘Not pre-op.’
And then the “men in dresses” tweet happened. Jo ‘liked’ a blatantly transphobic tweet and I felt outraged. Her representatives were quick to blame it on butter fingers, and well, it happens to all of us.
But it didn’t stop there.
There was yet another transphobic article (Me Too, Now What? (sex, the left, and gender identity) she apparently slipped and liked.
It really was the last straw for me. I unfollowed her on Twitter and convinced myself that it was okay to love the art but hate the artist (barf).
Which brings us to The Crimes of Grindelwald. (Spoiler alert!)
Until this movie, I was perfectly fine with the world she had created. It was just she who was the problem.
And then I actually watched the movie.
I didn’t go in with many expectations, especially after the whole Nagini debacle. Did she really think it was cool to make the Asian rep someone who goes on to be owned by a white male?
But it was even worse than I expected.
The movie completely ignored several canon themes and timelines. Most of the actors seemed closer to cardboard cutouts who can talk than actual artists. Oh and the twist in the end? It simply didn’t make sense.
There are good twists in the tale and there are some that have you going “where the fuck did you pull that out of and how are you going to take the story further?”
This one was the latter.
While the Potterverse kept stressing on how it’s “our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities,” this movie completely ignores it and tells us our bloodlines matter more. Leta Lestrange? Aurelius Dumbledore? It’s all in the last names!
Canon? What canon?
Remember how Dumbledore said the following about his refusal to go after Grindelwald?
“It was the truth I feared. You see, I never knew which of us, in that last, horrific fight, had actually cast the curse that killed my sister. You may call me cowardly: You would be right. Harry, I dreaded beyond all things the knowledge that it had been I who brought about her death, not merely through my arrogance and stupidity, but that I actually struck the blow that snuffed out her life… I think he knew it. I think he knew what frightened me. I delayed meeting him until finally, it would have been too shameful to resist any longer.”
HA! No, apparently this wasn’t the reason. It was a fucking blood pact.
Dumbledore said this in Deathly Hallows because…well, who cares? Anything that was in the original series can be edited later with a tweet, right, Jo?
Remember how in The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, the big reveal was his “friendship” with Gellert Grindelwald? Too bad Harry didn’t watch this movie instead of hunting for horcruxes. Turns out their relationship was pretty common knowledge in the ’20s.
Oh oh and Rita Skeeter surely didn’t talk to Bathilda Bagshot enough, or she would’ve found out about the fourth Dumbledore, Credence. Surely, at least Elphias Doge would’ve known?
There were a lot of other inaccuracies such as Dumbledore being a DADA teacher (it was Transfiguration, you nitwits!), Professor McGonagall uncharacteristically chasing after Leta instead of using a wand, and Nicolas Flamel’s age being used for a silly gag (I’m pretty sure the Philosopher’s Stone doesn’t offer immortality at the price of strength).
This movie is just one inaccuracy piled on top of another with a bunch of theatrics, lightning-fast character arcs, and messed up timelines.
[For a more coherent review about the absolute dung bomb that this movie was, read Hpboy’s review here.]
I’m actually done this time.
After years of making excuses for Rowling, I can say with conviction that I’m done.
I’m done with her constant edits to the story because diversity is seemingly just an afterthought.
I’m done with her transphobia and SJW facade.
I’m done with her trying to milk the Harry Potter cow for all it’s worth.
The next time I hear Hedwig’s tune, I definitely won’t tear up.
[Edit: The earliest version of this blog post alluded to allegations that Johnny Depp was abusive. It’s since been disproved and this post has been edited to reflect that.]