Despite the controversy surrounding the depiction of trans characters in Hogwarts Legacy and the transphobia of author J.K. Rowling, moderators were allegedly found to be requesting users to refrain from discussing trans rights.
Hogwarts Legacy has an official Discord server that provides a platform for discussions regarding the game and the Harry Potter franchise. So many people have voiced their support for transgender rights and have criticized J.K. Rowling for her discriminatory comments towards the trans community. The tensions highlight the challenges faced by Harry Potter fans recently as they struggle to balance their love for the cherished childhood series with their support for the transgender community. This has led to moderators attempting to steer the conversation away from the server.
Regrettably, the creator of the popular Harry Potter series, J. L. Rowling, has become linked to transphobic beliefs. This issue has resurfaced with the upcoming release of the game “Hogwarts Legacy.” This has sparked a significant amount of backlash and negative sentiment towards “Hogwarts Legacy” on the widely-used left-leaning subreddit, r/GamingCircleJerk.
Additionally, gamers have discussed including the trans character Sirona Ryan in Hogwarts Legacy. Some believe this was included to distract from Rowling’s discriminatory views. Sirona Ryan’s name has also been criticized for being transphobic. Failing to consider the ongoing discourse on trans rights and neglecting to tackle these important issues while promoting the “Hogwarts Legacy” is a major concern.
“TERF” is an acronym for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist,” a term used to describe feminists who reject the rights of transgender people. J.K. Rowling, the focus of this discussion, has a well-documented history of derogatory statements toward the trans community. It is not an unfounded characterization to describe her as a TERF.
In recent years, the relationship between Rowling and the LGBTQ+ community has worsened due to her outspoken views on transgender identity. Her representatives later explained that in 2018, when she liked a tweet referring to trans women as “men in dresses,” it was a mistake. In 2019, Rowling expressed her support for a researcher named Maya Forstater, who had been fired for making anti-transgender comments on social media. In 2020, Rowling posted tweets claiming that transgender women should not be considered women. Moderator SWIFT aimed to create a welcoming environment for everyone, regardless of their background, gender, or sexual orientation.
Rowling targeted Earl in a tweet that accused her of having a narrow-minded mentality and likened her statement to burning books. Earl shared that she felt her face tense up upon seeing the tweet. This was followed by a flood of hateful and transphobic remarks directed toward Earl on her social media pages.
The moderator, SWIFT, stated that the goal is to create an inclusive space for all individuals, regardless of their background, gender, or sexuality.
Another moderator, Aragog, stated that the discussions should remain on topic and that while trans rights are important, this is not the appropriate place for it. Some accused the moderators of removing trans flags, to which they responded that they only remove them in instances of spam. However, some claimed they had been banned for mentioning “trans rights.” The Gamer tested these claims by posting messages about trans rights, but no one was removed. They acknowledged that trans rights are human rights and acknowledged that having discussions about this topic in this space is becoming difficult. They suggested that there are more suitable venues for a more in-depth discussion about this topic.
Many members on the r/GamingCircleJerk subreddit have voiced their agreement with the original post made by moderator GrizzlyPeak72, both jokingly and sincerely. The GamingCircleJerk subreddit community has demonstrated support for the initial post made by mod GrizzlyPeak72 in a mixture of jesting and seriousness. This reflects the subreddit’s typical stance of mocking narrow-minded views against gay, women, and trans individuals, which continue to exist in some gaming communities. According to GrizzlyPeak72, the originator of the original “jerk” post, since the post was made public a week ago, over 1,000 individuals with transphobic beliefs have been banned from the r/GamingCircleJerk subreddit.
Furthermore, many people have indicated their intention to play the game illegally by downloading it. Even some members of the r/HarryPotter subreddit have expressed concerns about the game, both in terms of its content and the views held by its creator.
The conversation about the post and related views quickly spread on Reddit and social media. Some individuals spoke out against it, asserting that buying “Hogwarts Legacy” does not mean supporting Rowling’s views. However, others argue that it does, as purchasing the game provides financial support to the author. Some comments also raised concerns about other controversial “Potter” series elements. Despite this, there were still those who denied that Rowling is a TERF, despite her publicly stated trans-excluding beliefs.
The preorder data suggest a highly successful launch for “Hogwarts Legacy,” and some experts in the gaming industry anticipate it to be one of the year’s top-selling games. A video preview of the game was released, showcasing a new tale set in the wizarding world during the 1800s, including gameplay such as making potions, using magic, exploring the castle, and flying on a Hippogriff. The game includes trans characters as it allows players to choose and customize their body type, voice, and gender separately, according to a report by Bloomberg News.