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Warner Bros. Releases Statement Supporting J.K. Rowling

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Warner Bros. Releases Statement Supporting J.K. Rowling

Warner Bros. has released a statement reaffirming its support for JK Rowling after Harry Potter star Tom Felton was blocked from answering a question about the author.

In an interview marking the 25th anniversary of Harry Potter and Philosopher's Stone and the launch of a new Mandrakes and Magical Creatures attraction at Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, Felton - aka Draco Malfoy - was asked about Rowling's absence from the event.

But before the 34-year-old could answer, a PR interjected and blocked the question.

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Rowling - who wrote all of the Harry Potter books and was involved in the production of subsequent movies - has been embroiled in culture war debates around women's rights, particularly transgender rights.

After Sky News was prevented from asking about the 56-year-old, the outlet sought an explanation from the third-party PR firm brought into run the press event, and in an email, the company responded: "J.K. Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton, the team felt it was not relevant to the piece."

However, Warner Bros. has since issued a statement of its own, labelling the PR firm's response 'wholly wrong'.

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The statement read: "Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive, and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years.

"She is one of the world's most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters, and stories to life now - and for decades to come.

"On Monday (27 June), a statement was issued by a third-party media agency that appeared contrary to this view.

"The statement was wholly wrong, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets it happened as part of a media event that day."

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Stars of the film series have previously criticised Rowling. Credit: Warner Bros.
Stars of the film series have previously criticised Rowling. Credit: Warner Bros.

Often referred to as a 'TERF' online (trans exclusionary radical feminist), Rowling has faced accusations of transphobia after arguing that women and girls should have the right to single-sex spaces.

In June 2020, the author wrote an essay explaining how she was partly motivated to speak about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

She came under fire after responding to an article headlined 'Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate'.

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She tweeted: "'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Defending her comments, she said: "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth."

She was subsequently criticised by Harry Potter stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

Rowling has denied that she is transphobic.

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If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers 

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Film and TV, Celebrity, JK Rowling, Harry Potter

Jake Massey
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