New Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy faces boycott in latest backlash against JK Rowling’s views on transgender issues but author compares it to ‘book-burning’
- The release of Hogwarts Legacy on the PS5 and XBox One reignited culture wars
- Trans rights activists are calling for a boycott over author JK Rowling’s views
- The game is tipped to be one of the blockbusters of the year when it goes on sale
Culture wars have been reignited once again with the upcoming release of Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts’ Legacy.
Trans rights activists have openly demanded a boycott of the game, which will be available on the PS5 and XBox One consoles, as they rail against author JK Rowling’s stance on trans issues.
The game is tipped to be one of the blockbusters of the year when it goes on sale on February 10, The Times reports.
The buildup to the game’s release has been dominated by rumours of the boycott, as well as a ban on its discussion in a prominent forum and even the sacking of an employee.
Trans rights activists have openly demanded a boycott of Hogwarts Legeacy as they rail against author JK Rowling’s stance on trans issues
Hogwarts Legacy is tipped to be one of the blockbusters of the year when it goes on sale on February 10
Warner Bros Games is said to have made obvious moves to make the game appear inclusive, including allowing players to create trans wizards and witches.
Game director Alan Tew told IGN: ‘We know it’s a diverse audience. For us, it’s making sure that the audience who always dreamt of having this game had the opportunity to feel welcomed back.’
Although the game’s makes insist JK Rowling was not directly involved in creating the game, some of her team had collaborated.
Trans YouTuber Jessie Earl, 30, who has over 200,000 subscribers, was accused by Rowling of ‘purethink’ when she tweeted that ‘any support of something like Hogwarts Legacy is harmful’.
The writer also compared her comment to book-burning.
Warner Bros Games is said to have made obvious moves to make the game appear inclusive, including allowing players to create trans wizards and witches
Elsewhere, US gamer Will Overgard has also urged a boycott in a vdeo that has amassed two million views, insisting ‘by supporting the title you are essentially aligning yourself with some really heinous transphobic values’.
The voiceover cast of the game has also been subject to a backlash,. Sebastian Croft, who previously starred in Netflix’s LGBT series Heartstopper, was forced to explain his involvement after criticism from fans.
He said: ‘I was cast in this project over three years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me was the magical world I grew up with.
‘This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views. I believe wholeheartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men.’
Game forum ResetEra has notably banned discussion of Hogwarts Legacy, while also accusing Rowling of ‘pushing transphobic legislation’.
Review site Games Radar has also began publishing statement at the bottom of articles on Hogwarts Legacy: ‘acknowledging … her publicly stated, harmful views regarding the rights of transgender people.’