Report: Warner Bros. Games President Says Transphobe J. K. Rowling Has “The Right To Hold Her Opinions”

Report: Warner Bros. Games President Says Transphobe J. K. Rowling Has “The Right To Hold Her Opinions”
Screenshot: Hogwart’s Legacy

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is a transphobe. That is not an opinion, it is a fact. Maybe someone could share that distinction with Warner Bros. Games president David Haddad.

As Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier reports, Haddad was asked in an internal Q&A today about the widespread criticism of Rowling over her public and toxic transphobic views, which have been condemned by everyone up to and including Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Given the fact that WB is currently working on a big new Harry Potter game, his answer may not surprise you:

Not a lot I can comment on, other than, since we did get so many [questions], I wanted to be responsive the best way I could.

The way I think I’d like to do it is, I’d like to echo something you’ve heard from our most senior executive leadership.

While JK Rowling is the creator of Harry Potter, and we are bringing that to life with the power of Portkey, in many places, she’s a private citizen also. And that means she’s entitled to express her personal opinion on social media. I may not agree with her, and I might not agree with her stance on a range of topics, but I can agree that she has the right to hold her opinions.

Schreier adds that “Later in the Q&A, Haddad answered a question about diversity/inclusion by adding that WB Games is working with LGBTQ rights orgs and that he spent an hour and a half talking to the director of trans media representation at GLAAD. No mention of Rowling or Harry Potter there”

Once more for the people/executives in the back: hate speech is not an opinion.

Transphobic Creator J.K. Rowling ‘Not Involved’ in New Harry Potter Game

Warner Brothers, publisher of the upcoming open-world Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy, released an FAQ on the game’s official Discord yesterday. In addition to answering questions about the game’s development and platforms, the FAQ asserts that Rowling, who’s recently drawn criticism for transphobic statements, has no involvement in the game.

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  • If your company has policies that reflect a business ethics (such as equal opportunity, anti corruption, anti explotation, anti sexual harassment, anti domestic violence) its hypocritical to do business with someone who has committed such heinous acts, or openly and publicly refuses those policies.

  • Is it really hate speech if you raise concerns that women have in regards to Trans rights impacting upon their hard fought rights?

    • It depends on whether those concerns are based on evidence or prejudice. If their ideas to make themselves feel safe involve making a more marginalised group less safe, then it’s worth scrutinising that.

      • She’s at the point where she’s literally writing murder mysteries to create the kinds of narratives she says are real but don’t exist. So I’m going to go with “Not based on evidence.”

  • It’s hate speech now?

    Honestly, get a grip of yourself.

    “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” she tweeted. “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women—i.e., to male violence—‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences—is a nonsense.”

    • No-one is trying to ‘erase’ sex though. She’s so wrong on so many levels and never actually listens to the people that are trying to tell here where she went wrong. Some people are of course just dogpiling on her bad tweets, but some others were really trying and she certainly didn’t listen to them either. If anyone ever makes the “I have many black friends” defence in an apology / explanation it’s pretty safe to assume they’re off base, and certainly not listening to the people that have been hurt by the comments they’re supposed to be apologising for. If you say ‘but my trans friends aren’t hurt by this so I’m fine’ you’re admitting you think of all trans people as a monolith, and that’s pretty bad in and of itself.

      Sex does not equal gender, denying people the right to live according to their gender is cruel. Trans women are murdered because of the myth that they’re just men in a dress, that they’re using their gender expression to infiltrate womens spaces and make them more vulnerable by doing so – a myth Rowling has perpetuated. Rowling sees herself as defending women’s spaces – and hey, that would be great, but she isn’t actually defending women’s spaces, she’s defending cis women’s spaces and she doesn’t understand that trans people are already denied the comfort afforded their cis peers in almost every space they are accepted into, let alone the ones people would try to deny them from.

      She is saying is trans women aren’t women, they are men, she is saying that sex determines gender and she is saying that the lived experiences of women is similarly determined by sex – which is wrong technically (many people who are assigned female or male at birth aren’t technically the sex they were assigned, also intersex people exist and it’s the gender these people express or are assigned that would typically decide what experiences they might have as far as gendered experiences go). Statistically speaking there have been no suggestions that trans people are more likely to assault cis people in their respective toilets and bathrooms. There are however horrifying statistics for rates of murder and assault among the trans community, especially among trans people of colour.

      No reasonable trans people are asking for sex to be made into some fictional nothing that doesn’t matter at all, and no-one is more aware of sex than trans people. That’s not what people are asking for. But if you are denying trans people their gender – their ability to function as they are and as they wish to be – well of course you’re going to be called a transphobe, TERF or transmedicalist. One of the richest people in the world claiming the group she identifies with are being attacked or suppressed, as opposed to trans people who are in every possible way treated worse than cis women, is pathetic, and she deserves to be ridiculed if nothing else (though obviously I think she deserves it for the other stuff too) for what should have been an apology.

      This line from her essay is impossible to defend; “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”
      This one’s pretty awful too;
      “I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.”
      She is all but literally calling trans women predators, and even though she actually acknowledges the rates of assault, sexual violence and murder that trans women in particular are more likely to see than cis women she still insinuates that the real victims are cis women who are being ‘silenced’ by being called a TERF.

      • Some people absolutely are trying to erase sex though, and acting like they don’t exist doesn’t make it so.

        The issues around trans people in womens sport especially is a blatant example of this. With insane arguments that there is no physical advantage afforded to a person who spends the start of their life as a male then transitions to female.

        It’s not hate speech if you’re against seeing women get their skull cracked because they fought someone who used to be a man, or seeing record after record be broken by trans women only to have people still spout bullshit like, “There’s no difference between them and any other woman.”

        Someone can be whoever they want for all I care. But I will always very much take issue with people who use any sort of group or label like this as a shield and claim to be a victim of hate speech the moment someone calls them on some their bullshit.

        • Again, no, they aren’t trying to erase sex there either. No-one will deny that your average professional cis male athlete is physically stronger than your average professional cis female athlete, and that in particular areas they might be at an advantage – but the vast majority of the advantages a trans female athlete might have (because that’s the issue, not male athletes) are well within the bounds of what cis female athletes are also capable of with only rare exceptions that as far as I’m aware haven’t actually resulted in any injuries beyond what a cis female athlete could inflict, nor any records broken that cis female athletes couldn’t break.

          A recent ABC news article I just looked up to be clear on the facts also makes it clear that these possible exceptions should be allowed to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
          “According to the Sport Australia guidelines, if it is believed that a transgender athlete over the age of 12 has an unfair advantage in a sport where strength, stamina or physique is relevant, sports clubs can seek inclusion exemptions through a rigorous case-by-case process.”

          ^ The article in question.

          For some individual cases a line perhaps should be drawn or individuals excluded for the benefit of other members and the guidelines allow for this, but most of the time the fears and anxieties people have about the idea of trans women playing in women’s leagues are totally unfounded, and born of a perception of female fragility that simply doesn’t exist in professional athletes, male or female.

          Obviously this issue is complicated, but people aren’t trying to erase sex, they are simply advocating for dividing people by gender rather than genetic markers (which themselves are much more complicated that a simple binary of male / female, and the divisions made aren’t so simple or clear cut – see the awful way Caster Semenya was treated It’s not the same thing as erasing sex, rather it’s an acknowledgement that sex is pretty messy and confusing anyway, so why not divide people by the ways they wish to be divided.

          If you make a rule, absolutely any rule, that’s supposed to fairly divide athletes fairly into different groups it will be all but impossible to do so without finding someone that doesn’t fit neatly on one side or the other. It’s very complicated, and there will always be people that are excluded on one side of the fence or the other – there’s no getting around that, but the divisions as they stood in the past were never as well defined or obvious as some might claim they were.

          In reality biological sex is as messy and complicated as gender, and that’s what many of the new guidelines reflect.

          • You couldn’t be so far from reality on this. Fallon Fox fractured Tamikka Brents skull due to being a male to female transgender. This isn’t an outlier case either, Mary Gregory and Laurel Hubbard, both weightlifter/powerlifters who are male to female transgender, smash multiple womens records. it’s clearly an unfair and dangerous advantage.

            It’s actually incredibly easy to make a rule on this, have a transgendered divison. People can be whatever they want to be but don’t pretend that biologically there are actual athletic differences between the two.

            it’s not even a complicated issue, you’re just making it into one.

          • @Kelsier I don’t follow MMA, it’s gross. It’s a modern bloodsport with a whole host of horrible injuries inflicted on a whole bunch of people for the benefit of bloodthirsty crowds and moneyhungry organisers.

            All that said, if it is in fact a situation where she has strength beyond what any cis female athlete has she should not be allowed to compete, or her weight range should be reconsidered in light of that. I don’t see that as proven, but if it is proven then I agree.

            Similarly I don’t follow weightlifting, but should it be proven a trans woman has strength beyond what any cis woman is capable of I agree, they shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the same category.

            All that said, I don’t see how it can be an easy issue though – did Ian Thorpe’s or Michael Phelp’s body shape give them an unnatural advantage over his peers? Yes, obviously. They should not have been removed from competition though, because at a certain stage high level athletes all have quirks of biology or physiology that give them advantages on top of all the training they do. We don’t have seperate leagues with different height ranges in basketball either, because again height is a natural advantage that’s seen almost as a prerequisite to play – you could be technically the greatest player to ever grace the game, but if you’re 5 feet tall it’s probably not going to matter. I’m not saying that needs to change, nor that it should, but the reality of transgender athletes is not so simple as they all have an unnatural advantage in all cases, and I don’t think they should be treated as such. Outliers exist in every category no matter how you make the divisions, and I think it’s outright wrong to think these women you’ve offered as examples are the norm or the rule.

          • “All that said, I don’t see how it can be an easy issue though – did Ian Thorpe’s or Michael Phelp’s body shape give them an unnatural advantage over his peers? Yes, obviously. They should not have been removed from competition though, because at a certain stage high level athletes all have quirks of biology or physiology that give them advantages on top of all the training they do.”

            The false equivelancy here is incredible. What sort of mental gymnastics did you do to come up with this? They’re male. They have testosterone leading to the ability to develop at potentially either equal or equivelant rates and their bodies develop at physiologically potentially similair rates. Males have the same genetic makeup as other males generally, so shoulders, hips, bone density, muscular build, they all should be on par with the other as long as they train, as long as they put in the effort, they can potentially outdo each other.

            If you want a clear example, let’s switch over to females a moment. Cathy Freeman started off continually losing to Marie-Jose Perec, whose build was far better than hers originally. Over time, Cathy trained and trained, eventually getting to the point where she was able to smash her at track meets. When the 2000 Olympics came about, Marie ‘disappeared’ from the Olympics, as she knew Cathy had developed to the point physiologically, she could beat her. Now, if you had of put Usain Bolt up against *either* of them at their best? He would’ve shattered either of them at his *worst*. Why? Stride, bone density, muscular build, a whole range of things.

            When experts like Joe Rogan, and yes, he *is* an expert in the field, give clear commentary on why Fallon Fox for example had a clear, exact advantage due to excess testosterone leading to increased power, muscle mass, bone density, reach, grip etc. Then there’s pure science to back that, while there’s only ‘feels’ to back the other. I’ll take science every time over feels.

            So to answer your initial statement, “did Ian Thorpe’s or Michael Phelp’s body shape give them an unnatural advantage over his peers?” Maybe, but could their competitors get an equal or equivelant shape because they had the same physiological ability due to having access to testosterone and being physiologically born male themselves? Yes. But if Michael Phelps, at say, age 25 transitioned to female, then went up against say, Americans best female swimmer, would that be an uneven advantage for him?

            You’d better believe it.

          • @weresmurf
            Well first of all where did the Joe Rogan stuff come from? That’s just weird, neither I nor the comment I replied to mentioned him, so I don’t know where that came from.

            I think you missed what I’m talking about, the key being this paragraph from my earlier comment.

            “Obviously this issue is complicated, but people aren’t trying to erase sex, they are simply advocating for dividing people by gender rather than genetic markers (which themselves are much more complicated that a simple binary of male / female, and the divisions made aren’t so simple or clear cut – see the awful way Caster Semenya was treated It’s not the same thing as erasing sex, rather it’s an acknowledgement that sex is pretty messy and confusing anyway, so why not divide people by the ways they wish to be divided.”

            The key here is that the old divisions based on sex had a lot of outliers that were deemed ‘not female enough’ despite being, by sex, female. The reality is that while sex is for most people pretty simple on the surface, when you’re looking at professional athletes and what actually denotes or defines sex things get very murky.

            Leaving sex aside for a moment though some people do have natual advantages on top of any work or training they’ve put in – it doesn’t mean they could do it without the training, nor does it discredit their training, but when you’re looking at Phelps and Thorpe for example the size of their feet and hands as well as the length of their torsos compared to their legs have been pointed to by many physios and sports experts as a big part of the reason they both performed at such a high level so consistently. Now I wasn’t saying they should be seen as the same as Transgender athletes, nor implying that they are similar cases at all, but rather that within sex groups there are physical factors that have been allowed that are a clear advantage for the individual.

            Many ‘hyperandrogenous’ cis female athletes on the other hand have been denied the ability to compete because of reasons including naturally higher testosterone levels than men, and these women often have bodies that do have some of the advantages that males bodies have. So then the lines where decisions were made in the past weren’t actually based on sex, as they excluded biologically female athletes, but based on ranges of expected performance and markers like (but not limited to) testosterone. The real kickerwhen it comes to testosterone is that there’s no upper limit on naturally occurring testosterone levels in male athletes. So in effect you had a system that supposedly divided people on sex, but then altered the rules in specific cases where people where performing at a level that was seen as a statistical outlier. It would be ridiculous to bar Phelps and Thorpe from competition for their natural advantages, but why are some advantages allowed and others aren’t and where do we draw the line?

            My argument then is that the regulating bodies, many of which are now dividing people by gender, have in the past not actually divided people by sex anyway, so now they’re discarding the pretense and going by a model that excludes people based on outlying performances – which is not actually something I agree with in much the same way I disagree with the way sport was [supposedly] divided by sex in the past as it means exceptional female athletes will as a rule be excluded and trans female athletes will probably be excluded anyway unless they’re sitting in the median range for performance. Though I disagree with it, the divisions based on sex in the past had issues too, and basically any attempt at making a hard rule will butt up against the ‘fact’ (not feeling, please don’t come at me with that Ben Shapiro style nonsense) that sex is not a neat binary, and there will always be outliers that show up how messy the rule is and probably always will be.

            If you want to talk about false equivalence – do you really think I was saying that Usain Bolt doesn’t have a natural advantage over any female athlete? Do you really think I was saying Fox didn’t have an advantage? I don’t know anything about Fox because I don’t follow MMA, but if she did in fact have a natural advantage that cis female athletes don’t have – I agree – she shouldn’t be allowed to fight with them. Now personally I think MMA is pretty barbaric, the sorts of injuries that should in any resonable sport stop any sort of fight are frequently allowed and lusted over by the organisers and viewers, but if she does indeed have an advantage that puts her opponents at risk that’s not OK. No-one is trying to say that cis men are on par with cis women physically, and no doubt there are advantages some trans women have over some cis women, but it’s not a blanket rule, and I’m feeling like a skipping record here because it’s really goddamn complicated.

            Here’s a quoted NY times article from 2016 talking about naturally occuring Testosterone levels in [cis] women [note I’m not comparing this issue directly to trans athletes], and if you read that and think ‘yep, I know exactly what to do here and where to draw the line because it’s an awfully simple problem’ you should take a job at the I.A.A.F. and revert the division of sports back to a sex or biological basis as you see fit because they’ve been grappling with these problems for years while making absolutely no headway.

            “All Olympians have some exceptional traits. That is why they are elite athletes. A level playing field for everyone remains elusive, perhaps unattainable.

            Kenyan and Ethiopian marathoners live and train at altitude, naturally enhancing their oxygen-carrying capacity. And they tend to have long, thin legs that make running more energy efficient. Kevin Durant and Brittney Griner are great basketball players in part because they are nearly 7 feet tall.

            Eero Mantyranta, a Finnish cross-country skier who won seven Olympic medals in the 1960s, including three golds, was found to have a genetic mutation that increased his hemoglobin level to about 50 percent higher than the average man’s.

            There is “no fundamental difference” between a congenital disorder that produces high testosterone levels and a genetic mutation that produces elevated hemoglobin levels, according to a recent commentary, “The Olympic Games and Athletic Sex Assignment,” in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

            Yet elevated levels of naturally occurring hemoglobin do not disqualify athletes. In any case, the Journal commentary said, “all of these biological differences are minuscule compared with the suspected use of performance-enhancing substances.”

            If elevated testosterone provided an overriding competitive advantage, said Karkazis, the Stanford bioethicist, why did Chand, the Indian sprinter, not advance beyond the first round of the Olympic 100 meters?

            “If you believe this is jet fuel, then what’s going on?” said Karkazis, who testified on Chand’s behalf before the arbitration court.

            The I.A.A.F. does not investigate further if atypically high levels of testosterone in men are determined to occur naturally, an editorial in Scientific American recently noted. It added, “Fairness and science both dictate that women should be treated exactly the same.”

            There are reasonable people on both sides of the testosterone debate. And there is deep emotion, too. It is an extremely complex issue, which includes the Olympic participation of transgender athletes.”
            ^ The article in question

            It’s really complicated. It’s not controversial to say that it is. Anyone with an informed opinion will tell you it is, and that is my argument. That, and that no-one is trying to erase sex.

          • @weresmurf
            Glad to hear it 🙂

            Apologies for the length and if it sounded combative by the way, I didn’t quite realise how long it was and it reads differently now than how I thought it did when I wrote it

        • heh @ctrlsaltdelete’s complete October 1, 2020 at 7:21 pm comment “Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview, your comment will be visible after it has been approved.” is completely visible if you’re blocking javascript. lol

          • I’ve seen a couple of ‘awaiting moderation’ posts lately which have been a bit of a headscratcher. You’re being moderated, but everyone can see it!

      • Girl, she did not say to deny someone’s human right. Do not try to make it as simple as this. There are some bad actors out there who are profiting from this. Also women are women, men are men. That is biology. When you put trans in there, you are actually changing gender labels. While it is great to have a conversation on this, JK is not going to decide how your government is going to provide access to toilets to trans people for example. Let’s not ostracise another person for her views.
        And on that subject, how about the orange baboon who rambles around as the US president and who is an active racist and bigot? That guy is a menace

        • Trans women are women trans men are men, too. Biology isn’t a simple binary. For most people’s day to day life, 2 categories work fine. But there’s no reason we can’t have more. The biology argument just doesn’t work because if you get into the biological talk, there are many physical expressions of sex and while the majority will fit into one of two categories, there is still a significant number who don’t. There are more than two sexes. It’s biology.

          Gender is a different thing entirely.

  • The Public / Private argument always felt like rubbish to me. Yes, I agree people have to be allowed to hold and express whatever views they hold in private – however awful those views might be – but posting stuff on social media isn’t in private at all and shouldn’t be treated as such.

    I know that people don’t think of posting something on Twitter etc. as the same as publishing a book or printing an article, but to think of it the same way as holding a conversation in private is way off the mark. If you post something to any sizeable audience, regardless of the platform you do so on, you are responsible for what you post and should be held accountable for what you posted. It’s not like she made a typo, it’s very clear what she posted and why. She knows she has a massive audience who would see it.

    She’s wrong, but she’s not stupid – she knows what she did and while WB won’t say it she has to be treated like an adult who knew what she was posting and how many would see it.

    • I would argue that she is stupid. Regardless of what I think of her views she decided made remarks that clearly weren’t going to sit well with a large portion of her fan base, then she doubled down on those remarks and lashed out because she felt entitled to unconditional love and praise from her fan base.

      I obviously disagree with her views but I’m mostly just baffled as to how an adult who has spent this much time interacting with her fanbase thought acting this way is a great idea.

      • I can see the argument, and strategically from a purely monetary sense I would agree.

        I suspect though that she thinks of herself as a defender of women’s rights and that she’s knowingly taking one for the ‘team’ to save people she believes are vulnerable. But I also have to assume she also knows that she would be deliberately hurting trans people by the particular garbage she filled her essay with. It’s not well written, but it was deliberate and she knew it would be shared and discussed.

        So, yeah, definitely a stupid move, but I think she knew that going in.

  • Erasing someone because their view doesn’t align with your own view could also be considered a hate crime no?

  • Opinion:
    – a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.
    – a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.
    – a judgment or estimate of a person or thing with respect to character, merit, etc.

    Certainly seems like a fitting word to describe a person’s views on the transgender community. Hate speech too is something that originates from having such strong opinions on something that you publicly declare them and incite others with those same opinions to action.

    Whether they are correct or not and whether you like them or not does not make them something else. An opinion is still an opinion. At least, that’s my opinion anyway.

    • Do you think you could explain why that is the case?
      Something about it struck off from the get-go for me, but I figure you could probably put it more eloquently than I.

      I’m thinking it’s the combination of the headline (“transphobe J K Rowling”) and the opening and closing sentences. It all comes across like Luke is angry that the Suit didn’t go out of his way to completely tear Rowling to shreds.

  • “Once more for the people/executives in the back: hate speech is not an opinion.”

    Once more for the writers of these articles in the back: a differing opinion is not hate speech.

    I have no horse in this race either way, but nothing I have seen from Rowling would constitute actual ‘hate’. Ignorance? Probably – I’m not across all the intricacies of such a topic to say either way, but no where as she called for erasure, harm or verbal attacks against the Trans community.

    Like the word racism, hate speech is losing it’s effect by not being recognised and used properly. There are enough real pieces of hateful, racist, anti-queer folk in the world to actually target. The internet pile-on for this is just over the top and seems to force two quite severe sides, with or against. I can’t speak for people on here, but truthfully, makes me end up having deep apathy for both sides.

  • So, would people here arguing semantics have issue with the headline “JK Rowling, Transphobe, Incorrectly Not Criticized For Being A Terrible Person”?

  • Stop trying to unperson people. Free speech includes speech you don’t agree with.
    She’s brought more joy to peoples lives than one unpopular opinion with a tiny minority of a minority.
    The vast amount of people on the planet wouldn’t know or care to know about what she thinks about a fringe issue, they just want some Harry Potter escapism.

    • Free speech includes the right to criticise people whose speech you don’t agree with, and using your free speech doesn’t make you immune to criticism for the opinions you’ve expressed; even where lots of people like other things that you’ve done in other contexts. Stop trying to unperson people.

      • And this obviously includes threats of death and physical violence. As long as those that do it share your views.

        Hell, the “left” , who hold such a narrow view of “free speech” say that “calls to action”, “threats of violence” and “death threats”, constitute “hate speech”, which doesn’t come under “free speech”. So how can you not see that?

        Oh that’s right, because such things are ok in your eyes, as long as those that do it agree with you.

        In before you whip out the good ol’, “paradox of tolerance” bullcrap, which still doesn’t cover your welcoming and encouraging of “hate speech”

  • The WB guy isn’t saying that JKR being a transphobe is an opinion, he’s saying she has opinions and has a right to opinions. Which is all correct. That she is transphobic is a fact, but we know she is transphobic because she has and expresses transphobic opinions.

    Hate speech absolutely is the expression of an opinion. And hate speech is very specifically protected under freedom of speech in the US. And while it isn’t protected speech in the UK, hate speech in the UK doesn’t currently extend beyond racism. JKR’s transphobia is her opinion and technically she has the right to hold it and express it, however shitty it is of her that she holds it and expresses it.

    Opinions can be hateful and opinions can be wrong. Somewhere along the line of “no one is right, everything is an opinion, agree to disagree” we forgot that all opinions aren’t created equally. They are not. Some are terrible.

    The WB guy just said the most minimum centrist answer he could give – factually and technically true with no substance. Not unexpected, but certainly disappointing.

  • Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is a transphobe. That is not an opinion, it is a fact.
    –> Luke, can you kindly share your source for this “fact”?

    I only ask this as the article really didn’t clearly articulate any actual evidence, or published references, of this “fact”.

    Sure JK might be a transphobe, but if its a “fact” then I think as a journalist its only the right thing to do and actually provide **actual** evidence supporting your claim. Otherwise, well… it sounds like an opinion. You’re welcome.

    (But that’s just my opinion, not a fact.)

    • She’s said and done transphobic things, she’s openly gone on the record with transphobic opinions, and has written a transphobic book.

      This is pretty simple ‘looks like a duck, sounds like a duck’ reasoning, man. She’s checked all the boxes. She’s a transphobe. Not difficult.

  • Guys and Gals, JK is not a transphobe. She clearly defines and articulates her views. I think we will be better off asking why a racist and bigot like the orange baboon Trump is leading the world and try to stop him from stoking divisive fires.

    • Yeah, and her clearly defined and articulated views are transphobic. She made this a pretty easy nut to crack.

      It’s also possible to care about more than one thing. Yeah, I think Trump is real bad. I also think JK Rowling is real bad. These are not incompatible, the things I do in response to believing one of these things (actively campaigning) go perfectly fine with the things I do in response to believing the other. (not buying JK Rowling things, and… also actively campaigning, actually).

  • Speaking of spineless responses, I see Kotaku continues to post virtue-signalling nonsense about this game while not making a peep about the fact the upcoming Spider-Man PS5 game or the just released The Avengers game.

    Why, you may ask? Said games are pumping money directly into the pocket of Marvel’s infamously racist CEO, who’s one of Trump’s best friends and using said money to directly fund Trump’s presidential reelection campaign to keep spewing hate on every vulnerable group.

    Call out Rowling all you want, but don’t be hypocrites. Or is calling out Disney products not profitable or click-baity enough for you?

  • I’m going to buy and enjoy the game.
    I’m going to continue to enjoy the Potterverse.
    I’m going to continue thinking that Rowlings opinion is fraught with prejudice, and that she’s a bit of a dick, and hope she doesn’t negatively influence someone’s else’s opinion
    And I’m going to continue to treat everyone fairly and equally, until the time they may show that they’re not a good person.

  • JK Rowling needs to just realise that she’s one of the most powerful and influential people in the world and what she says has real world effects. She’s pushing a narrative with no real basis other than fear and the fact that UK media is pretty ok with bigotry against trans people.

    Warner has a contract with her company and can’t just magic it away, even if they want to . What he could have done it just not said anything. That would’ve been fine.

    • “What he could have done it just not said anything. That would’ve been fine.”

      You know as well as I do, that that would most definitely not have been fine either.

      What is it people say these days? “Silence is violence”. If you are not actively and publically against X, than you are, by default, for X. That’s the world people like you are making.

      So no. Saying nothing would not be better.

      • In this case, yes, it would have been better. The things she’s said have been horrible things that have only hurt people.

        • Words are words. And it’s on twitter.. Want to know what to do if someone on twitter says something you don’t like… block them, ignore them, don’t have twitter. They are words. There was no call to action, there was no inciting (unlike the replies she has received from such lovely people). She said some words.

          Hell… if it wasn’t for such hard hitting journalism on this site, I would have had absolutely zero idea that this was even a thing. It’s not hard to just ignore such things.

          In the space of 25yrs, we’ve gone from “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.” to “words are violence.”

          If you are so mentally fragile that you cannot stand to hear someone say “I have a different opinion from you” in whichever form that may take. then get off of the internet and sit in an echo chamber.

      • This is categorically untrue. Who says that? Where is the cultural inertia pushing the idea that unless you provide an exhaustive list of each and every opinion you have at all times and maintain it in the single prescribed way you are a monster? Don’t bother answering because my question is absurd and rhetorical to demonstrate your absurd claim.

        Nobody thinks JK rowling is a transphobe because she has been silent. They think she’s a transphobe because she constantly makes up stories about how they are predators. Nobody cared about her opinions until she gave them.

        Nobody cared about some faceless corporation’s mouthpiece and his opinion on trans people until he defended his corporation’s investment from attacks it wasn’t receiving.

  • These comments confused me. A whole pile of middle class dudes screeching about people being ERASED and UNPERSON’ED

    And I thought ‘Wow, am I ever surprised that these guys, normally such a bunch of privileged jerks, have actually come around to understanding how horrible it is that we deny trans people their basic identity by creating things like bullshit fantasy scenarios about public toilets that can be leveraged to demonise them.’

    Then I realised their screeching was ACTUALLY about the incredibly wealthy white woman who is so SILENCED that she sharts her opinions out across a vast number of global media platforms to an audience of millions and I realised that yes, these dudes are still horrible little creeps that believe any delusional crap as long as it supports their nasty world views.

    Oh well.

    • i eagerly await the woke signalling Olympics between each publication in the lead up to the release of this game. Each publication will attempt to out woke each other to take down this game.

  • He never said anything about her being a transphobe. He merely said she has the right to hold whatever opinions she likes, wether he or anyone agrees/disagrees/likes/dislikes them is irrelevant.

    Instead of blindly writing a sad article, actually think about what actually occured.

  • A bold move opening your article with libel. Let’s see how that plays out for the author and Kotaku. I’m guessing a stealthy edit will take place.

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