Is there a reason to return to Hogwarts? According to fans online, perhaps not. The mixed reactions from the fandom began to appear on Twitter after The Hollywood Reporter revealed that a Harry Potter TV show is in early development with HBO Max. Per the outlet, executives at WarnerMedia are currently looking for writers or directors to pitch ideas for an adaptation, but no writers, producers, or talent are currently attached to the project and no official deal has been made.
The TV show would not be the first extension of the Harry Potter universe since the original film adaptations; the Fantastic Beasts prequel series is still ongoing, with the third film expected to premiere next year and two more scheduled to go into production after. However, now that a potential TV series is in the works, some fans are expressing excitement while others feel they are unable to continue supporting the franchise due to author J.K. Rowling's transphobic views.
Rowling has long been a controversial figure, but she recently came under fire in June 2020 when she objected to the term "people who menstruate," which was intended to be more inclusive. Days later, she doubled down on her transphobic comments by publishing a lengthy statement about her decision to speak out against "new trans activism," which further espoused anti-trans rhetoric and ideas.
One fan suggested removing the author from the project entirely, tweeting, "We don't want this we want a marauders series with no connection to jk rowling." Another Twitter user urged fans to stop supporting the problematic franchise. "It's 2021 and people still won't let go of the h*rry p*tter franchise," they wrote.
Others seemed equally troubled by the idea of Rowling receiving royalties or increased book sales. One person wrote about struggling with still enjoying Harry Potter but disliking the author's views. "Wanting more Harry Potter content but not wanting jk Rowling to make any money off it," they tweeted.
Another fan distinguished between allowing space for the franchise to still be part of their identity without further supporting the author and her future endeavors.
The Harry Potter franchise would be difficult to adapt without financially supporting J.K. Rowling. Per THR, the author maintains control over related projects and has the final say over all decisions regarding the property. If the TV show does move forward at HBO Max, it will force fans to decide whether or not to continue supporting the franchise.