An open letter to J.K. Rowling: Please stop

Dear Mrs. Joanne Kathleen Rowling,

Joanne. May I call you Joanne? Well, sit down, Joanne, because we need to have a very serious talk.

When I turned 11, my aunt gifted me the first two books in the Harry Potter series. While it took me about a year to actually start reading them, I was completely hooked once I did. I read every book, watched every movie, and could name every character. Even in my adulthood I have a love for the series. But, like all good things, Harry Potter came to an end and everyone moved on.

Except, it seems, for you. You have fallen victim to the siren song of Twitter, the social media bane of our time.

Tweets about the religious backgrounds, birthdays, and patronus charms of other characters were nice; not particularly relevant to the story, but neat tidbits of trivia. Then it started slowly going downhill with confirmations of Uncle Vernon being a Brexit voter, and that skinwalkers (creatures of Navajo legend) were apparently created by non-magical people to demonize wizards.

You confirmed that Dumbledore, who you revealed to be gay in 2007 had been in a relationship with Grindlewald, something fans had previously speculated. I can respect an author using their platform to confirm fan theories, especially ones that have relevance to the story. However, stop retroactively adding in queer representations despite there being little to no evidence for such in the source material. It doesn’t make you an ally, it just makes you a brownie points collector.

If you want to write queer characters, just write a new book. You’ve written over ten, so what’s one more?

I respect you, Miss J.K. You did good work with Amnesty International back in the day. But you just couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you? If the faux allyship wasn’t enough, I now know, in great detail, how wizards didn’t have bathrooms and just shit themselves wherever they pleased, using magic to clean the mess.

I didn’t ask to know this. I didn’t want to know this. Damn it, Joanne, no one did. But now it’s canon. I didn’t want to bring it up, but there is such a thing as over-worldbuilding.

When Fantastic Beasts came out, I thought it would revitalize the story and give fans new hope for a prequel series. Until you revealed that Voldemort’s snake, Nagini, is actually an Asian-American woman who will be decapitated by a teenager 80 years later.

Do you see what I mean, Jo? Do you see how you’re the biggest enemy of your own series, and how you’re ruining a beloved franchise part of millions of childhoods? So please, delete your Twitter and leave your books alone. Stop. Please, just stop.

Cordially yours,

Literally everyone.

Bree Meiklejohn

Bree Meiklejohn is a first-year classics and creative writing student. She’s also an aspiring writer who loves dogs, Earl Grey tea, and pretending to know what she’s doing.

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