In a surprising move, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, Washington, decided to airbrush J.K. Rowling from its Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame and Harry Potter exhibition due to her gender-critical views. Here’s the full story.
A Controversial Decision
MoPOP’s decision to remove all references to J.K. Rowling from its Hall of Fame and exhibition has triggered significant attention and controversy.
The Trans Manager
The museum’s exhibitions project manager, Chris Moore, who identifies as transgender, took to a blog post to justify the move.
He criticized Rowling’s views on transgender issues, particularly her stance that biological sex should not be disregarded.
He wrote, “There’s a certain cold, heartless, joy-sucking entity in the world of Harry Potter and, this time, it is not actually a Dementor.”
Rowling’s Opinions Were Hateful
Moore characterized Rowling’s opinions as ‘super hateful and divisive,’ echoing the sentiments of many in the LGBTQIA+ community who have criticized the author for her perceived lack of support for transgender rights.
Books Were Written Without an Author
“We would love to go with the internet’s theory that these books were actually written without an author, but this certain person is a bit too vocal with her super hateful and divisive views to be ignored,” he added.
Not to Erase, But to Limit
Moore explained that the decision was not an attempt to erase Rowling’s contributions entirely but to limit her impact on the museum’s visitors, especially those who might be hurt by her views.
A Short-Term Measure
He acknowledged that it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a short-term measure while the museum determines its long-term practices.
Rowling was slammed after she argued that women should not be penalized for recognizing biological sex as real, which many in the transgender community found offensive and exclusionary.
This controversy emerged in 2019, a year after she was inducted into MoPOP’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
Accusations for Rowling
Rowling’s criticisms are not limited to her stance on transgender issues.
Moore, in his blog post, accused her of employing racial stereotypes, ‘fat-shaming,’ and a ‘lack of LGBTQIA+ representation’ in her books.
The Stars Reacts
The decision to airbrush Rowling has garnered mixed responses.
Some prominent figures associated with the Harry Potter series have expressed their support for transgender rights and disapproval of Rowling’s views.
Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter in the film adaptations, revealed his concern for young fans who might be hurt by Rowling’s opinions.
Co-Stars Joined In
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, firmly stated that ‘trans women are women, trans men are men,’ aligning himself with the transgender community.
Emma Watson, known for her role as Hermione Granger, has actively supported transgender rights by donating to the charity Mermaids, which advocates for transgender individuals.
The Museum of Pop Culture stands by its decision to remove Rowling’s presence from its exhibitions.
A MoPOP spokesman said, “MoPOP is proud to support our employees and unequivocally stands with nonbinary and transgender communities. In an increasingly divided world, pop culture can unite, inspire, and spark important conversations.”
If They Won’t Credit Her, Remove Her Work
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “It’s HER work, if they aren’t going to credit her they shouldn’t be allowed to show Harry Potter stuff!”
Statement of Reality
Another User wrote, “I don’t believe her views are gender critical but a statement of reality which a number of vocal activists who are making a career and lots of money from this fantasy are determined to shut down.”
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / s_bukley. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.