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Hogwarts Legacy backlash: Why are players boycotting?

In response to J. K. Rowling’s extremely controversial views, Hogwarts Legacy backlash is peaking as players choose to boycott the game.



hogwarts legacy character holding wand

Hogwarts Legacy is set to release in February 2023, but the game is receiving a lot of backlash as many are choosing to boycott the game after J.K. Rowling expressed her views on trans people.

There’s no doubt that Hogwarts Legacy is one of 2023’s most anticipated games, as it seems fans of the Wizarding World universe have been waiting for an open-world Harry Potter game for decades.

Many fans are excited to play the title from Avalanche Software, with the game set to break sales records, but many people are refusing to purchase the game in an attempt to boycott Hogwarts Legacy.

Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling has expressed some extremely controversial views regarding the transgender community in recent years, leading to a huge uproar from many across the globe who are disappointed and angry with her views.

Why are people boycotting Hogwarts Legacy?

As J.K. Rowling wrote the original Harry Potter series, the writer profits through royalties when anything to do with the Wizarding World is produced. This means that despite not being involved in Hogwarts Legacy, the writer will ultimately gain from every sale.

Ultimately, J.K. Rowling published essays and tweets speaking against the trans community, expressing views that adhere to the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminism) ideology. Her views express a belief that trans women aren’t women, and supporting the transgender community impedes women’s rights.

This is why Hogwarts Legacy is receiving a lot of backlash at the moment. Those who are against her views are attempting to boycott the game in order to stop J.K. Rowling from gaining profit, especially as the writer uses her money and platform to push anti-trans agendas.

One move that drew particular backlash was when Rowling funded a support and counseling service for female victims of sexual violence who turn away trans women as both survivors and employees.

Therefore, many from the trans community and beyond believe supporting the game is harmful. Transgender writer Jessie Earl wrote a featured article on GameSpot that detailed why supporting Hogwarts Legacy is harmful to the trans community.

Jessie Earl believes that while J.K. Rowling isn’t involved in the creation of the game, “it’s still difficult for any trans person to look at any element of the Harry Potter franchise and not see the harm that continues to be perpetuated by the woman who created it.”

For Earl and others in the trans community, the game is a reminder of “a woman who has actively argued against the reality of [transgender people’s] existence and championed harm towards [the transgender] community.”

J.K. Rowling responded to Earl, where the Potter creator accused the writer of “purethink,” and suggested they shouldn’t just burn their books and movies, but “the local library, anything with an owl on it and their own pet dogs.”

Rowling’s response was met by a wave of backlash, with those in the transgender community and their allies slamming her comments and standing with Jessie’s disapproval of Hogwarts Legacy.

The community against the support of Hogwarts Legacy has even drawn a response from one of the game’s voice actors, Sebastian Croft, who went to Twitter to explain his involvement in the game.

The actor says that they were cast in the project “over 3 years ago,” long before they were aware of J.K. Rowling’s views.

Sebastian’s response and apology to the Hogwarts Legacy backlash seemed to go down well with fans, however, there are still some very passionate comments under the post that ask why the actor remains a part of the project despite J.K. Rowling being “publicly transphobic well before 3 years ago.”

Also, Hogwarts Legacy and the Harry Potter franchise have been accused of antisemitism in their portrayal of Goblins and with the game featuring a storyline revolving around squashing a Goblin rebellion, many have concerns.

While there’s a strong community backing the boycott of the game, there are a lot of people who actually believe that the controversy surrounding the title is fueling more sales and attention.

Clearly, Hogwarts Legacy is getting a lot of backlash for its association with J.K. Rowling, but only time will tell when it comes to how much this will impact its sales, reputation, and reviews.

If you’re interested in more Hogwarts Legacy, be sure to check out our pieces on if the game will have multiplayer and every edition of Hogwarts Legacy and the content included.

Image Credits: Avalanche Software