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Warner Bros. Responds to J.K. Rowling Backlash With Paragraph of Empty Statements

I've never seen so many words add up to nothing before.

Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Claudia Kim, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, and Callum Turner in Fantastic Beasts- The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

What do you do when your cash cow starts spouting offensive viewpoints on social media? That’s the question that Warner Bros. is asking themselves in the wake of J.K. Rowling’s transphobic Twitter meltdown and subsequent 3000+-word rambling essay attempting to defend her transphobia. And with good reason: the eight Harry Potter films have grossed over $7 billion worldwide, a figure which doesn’t include all the Potter merchandise or the Wizarding World theme parks. And Warner Bros. is also still in the midst of their follow-up franchise with Rowling, the Fantastic Beasts films.

The studio is struggling to toe the line between condemning transphobia and not insulting Rowling, who has likely made them more money than other single individual. Their solution: release a statement filled with platitudes about diversity and inclusion that ultimately says nothing of substance:

This is the press release equivalent of any teacher talking in a Peanuts cartoon. It’s white noise (emphasis on the white) designed to palliate the masses while still performing fealty to Rowling. The statement NEVER mentions trans people or calls out Rowling by name. It’s a disappointing paragraph of word soup that is made all the more pointless when compared to the statements of their franchise’s stars.

Daniel Radcliffe has released a thoughtful and eloquent statement about Rowling. Eddie Redmayne, who stars as Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and was nominated for an Oscar for playing a trans woman in 2015’s The Danish Girl said,

“As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand, … I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”

Other stars of the Potterverse have joined in to express their support for the trans community:

Many responded to the deliberately vague and pointless statement on social media:

Do better, Warner Bros. Although judging by the quality of the first two Fantastic Beasts films, maybe you can’t.

(via Variety, image: Warner Bros.)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.