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It’s Still Kind of Shocking to See ‘The Secrets of Dumbledore’ Trailer Overtly Embrace J.K. Rowling

J.K Rowling attends the UK Premiere of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald" at Cineworld Leicester Square on November 13, 2018 in London, England.

We are likely never going to be free of this generation being in thrall to Harry Potter—especially since it has been a successful cash cow for Warner Bros. Despite all the issues surrounding J.K. Rowling and her impact on transphobia in the U.K. and across her many platforms, a recent trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore made sure that we know she’s still in charge.

During my trip to watch The Batman, it was deeply unfortunate that the trailer for another Warner Bros. movie, The Secrets of Dumbledore, played before it. Even separate from the issues with Rowling, the movie just seems so scatterbrained. These films have always shown a really weird disconnect from the established lore of the books anyway, but now we have gone to “giving muggles wands” territory.

That was already bad enough, but then it said in big bold letters “From J.K. Rowling.”

Still from The Secrets of Dumbledore Trailer that reads "From JK Rowling."

I was deeply shocked to see it because even from a marketing perspective, you don’t need Rowling’s to sell Harry Potter products anymore. It is a brand within itself that will exist and thrive without her. Including her name so prominently, in the face of all that’s happened, is a choice that seems very much based in aligning themselves with Rowling.

As a cis person, it’s annoying, but it feels like a further betrayal to non-binary and trans fans of the series who have been doing their best to love a series that meant so much to them in spite of everything. For me, as someone who actively chooses to not engage with Harry Potter projects anymore, seeing this in the trailer only solidified something: There is no way to separate the two.

Rowling will be forever linked with Harry Potter, and whenever you support the latter, it helps to fill the pockets of the former. Plus, this screenplay was written by Rowling, despite how she’s proven herself to be bad at screenwriting.

Sometimes I miss the joy that Harry Potter used to fill me with. I miss it a lot because, despite its faults, the series meant something to me that I haven’t really felt in a lot of other properties. But when I see things like this and remember all of Rowling’s transphobic writings—and the power she has wielded to do actual harm—I realize that there are plenty of more inclusive series that deserve my money.

Nostalgia be damned.

(image: John Phillips/Getty Images)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.