Former Literal ‘Poster Child’ for Hogwarts School Choir Is Boycotting ‘Hogwarts Legacy
Twitch streamer Sarah Daniels, who is also a former Universal Studio’s Hogwarts Choir performer and was even featured in some of the theme parks promotional material back when she was working there, has added her voice to the debate around the Hogwarts Legacy video game. Saying that her time as part of the Potter franchise was “one of the best, most memorable parts” of her life, Daniels came firmly down on the side of boycott, stating that if she can avoid buying the game despite this “so can you.”
Calls for boycott, as well as a debate around whether or not you can meaningfully separate a still-living artist from their art, especially if they’re profiting from it, have been circling since the game was first announced back in 2020. In addition to Rowling’s steadily escalating transphobia, the actual plot of the game has come under heavy fire for racism and antisemitism. Hogwarts Legacy continues the franchise’s tradition of depicting goblins as antisemitic caricatures indistinguishable from literal Nazi propaganda and it also frames their desire for equality and an end to oppression from wizards as somewhere between misguided and outright evil. While fantasy allegories for racism never quite work, having that allegory then come down on the side of oppression being a good thing, actually, is something else entirely.
Die-hard Potter fans, and people who desperately want to play the game despite at least superficially opposing transphobia, racism, and antisemitism, are citing support for the developers and the fact that Rowling didn’t write the game herself to justify pouring yet more money into the franchise that makes her relevant—and wealthy. The argument Daniels and people like her are making is that it’s that wealth that allows her to negatively impact the well-being of trans people, as well as—consciously or not—promote racism and antisemitism, on a global as well as UK-wide scale. As Daniels said to one of the many who responded justifying their decision to buy the game “Congrats on your donation to actively harm trans people!”
Despite the popular opposition to the game, and Harry Potter products in general, the ubiquity and intense popularity of the franchise means that it’s still doing absolutely fine. And while the main response to Daniels’ tweet was positive, her replies are also full of contrarians insisting that they weren’t going to buy the game until someone told them not to, equating boycotts with bullying and emotional abuse. Currently Hogwarts Legacy is the top-selling game on Steam, but, you know, there’s still time, and with more and more people like Daniels coming out and disavowing the franchise maybe it will eventually disappear into obscurity—and take the Terf in Chief with it.
(featured image: Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)
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