Books

Emma Watson critisized for refusing to work with J.K. Rowling

The speculation that Emma Watson will only return to Harry Potter if J.K is out of the picture, has social media in a flurry. 

Emma Watson has been criticized heavily on social media after sources close to the actress said she is unwilling to return to the Harry Potter franchise if J.K. Rowling is involved with the project. Watson has indicated that she will only return to the franchise if J.K. Rowling is not involved in any way. This news incited hundreds of Twitter comments and social posts, declaring, “how dare Emma Watson bite the hand that feeds her.”

Watson, 32, is said to have made the decision following controversial comments by Rowling, 56, about the trans community. Giant Freaking Robot revealed in a report that “trusted and proven sources” had claimed the actress will only return to the franchise if the author, who created the series, is not involved in any way.

emma watson and jk rowling

While the reasons for Watson refusing to come back to the franchise if J.K. Rowling is involved are not entirely clear, the safe bet would be how controversial the author and her social opinions have become in recent years. Primarily J.K.’s very public, and very loud, commentary on the rights of transgender people in the UK (and one would have to assume the world) may have made Watson pull away from returning to the Harry Potter Films. 

Emma Watson made a comment at the BAFTAs earlier this year that many took to be directed towards J.K. Rowling. Watson was arriving on stage to present an award when fellow actor Rebel Wilson joked that the Harry Potter star “calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch,”. Emma Watson replied “I’m here for all of the witches,” which was taken in Internet discourse to be a tacit disagreement with J.K. Rowling’s public beliefs on transgender individuals.

There is growing speculation that the Harry Potter 25-year anniversary may be ‘cancelled by publishers’ over her very strong trans rights views. While her fans and her many readers have stayed loyal, the publishing industry is having second thoughts on how to deal with all of the noise she has been making. Although the books will most certainly stay in print, celebrating milestones, may be kept on the down-low if talked about at all. 

Tom Tivnan, managing editor of The Bookseller magazine noted: “I was talking to foreign publishers about the anniversary, and they said, ‘We’re going to be very quiet about this. Even saying her name on social media gets publishers drawn into a debate they don’t want to get into. They just want to publish books. So they’re ignoring it.

The backlash against Rowling began in 2020 when accusations of transphobia were made after she tweeted “People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” 

Watson responded at the time and took to Twitter to speak out about J.K.’s comments. “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are. I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you, and love you for who you are. I donate to @Mermaids_Gender and @mamacash. If you can, perhaps you’ll feel inclined to do the same. Happy #PRIDE2020 Sending love x.”