For the massive amount of Harry Potter fans with Twitter accounts who follow J.K. Rowling, this story is old news. For those who have not been on Twitter recently, J.K. Rowling tweeted something which she is now under fire for. Below is the tweet in its entirety.
The hashtag "#IStandWithMaya" is in reference to a woman named Maya whose contract with a charity position was not renewed after remarks she made online in regard to sex and trans identity. Maya refused to recognize trans females (somebody born biologically male but who self-identifies as female on the gender spectrum) as completely equivalent to biological females. When she took the charity company to court over the matter a judge ruled in the company's favor. The judge essentially stated that beliefs that go against human rights laws are not protected and a company is entitled to not renew a position with them if they so choose. Maya's court case has been posted online with the judgments included.
On social media, the debate spread hard and fast. Below are just a few tweets posted in reply to Rowling:
Some people seem to disagree with Rowling and others agree.
Some fans are now ashamed to be a fan of her best-selling series, Harry Potter.
The truth is that it really doesn't matter to me.
Whatever she wants to say or believe has no impact on what her fictional story taught me about life, love, friendship, and more. For me, there is a separation between the fictional world I love and the real person behind the story. And you cannot tell me that no one in this world has different beliefs. Or that we don't all feel different ways about different things.
Harry Potter has taught me and many others so much about the world around us. Just because Rowling has different opinions than me doesn't mean I'm going to boycott the series or burn the books. I love the magic and awe of the Harry Potter series. I love escaping to a world that is completely fictional and getting away for a bit. Perhaps I am alone in my thoughts.
The bottom line is this.
It is all right to disagree with the politics of an author and still appreciate their work. For those who can't separate the art from the artist, I can't help but feel bad. These people are in for a lifetime of being disappointed. It is vitally important that we understand that everyone will eventually disagree with something. At some point, a poet, author, director, comedian, musician, or other famous person you love will inevitably disagree with something you believe in. Even if you don't like everything about the creator it is much better to keep on loving and enjoying the bit of culture they have brought to the world.
I will always be a Harry Potter fan, whether I agree with Rowling's personal or political beliefs or not.
What about you?