Warner Bros. is standing by Harry Potter author J.K Rowling following an incident between an external public relations representative and Sky News. According to Variety, the PR rep, who does not work for Warner Bros. but was acting on behalf of the studio at the time, blocked Sky News from asking Harry Potter star Tom Felton about Rowling during a press event for the expansion of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter attraction.
Per the report, the representative blocked a question about it being “strange” for Rowling to have taken more of a “back seat” regarding the Harry Potter franchise and later, Sky News received an email from the third-party PR firm stating “J.K. Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton, the team felt it was not relevant to the piece.” However, Warner Bros.’ statement reaffirms Rowling’s connection to the studio and the franchise, calling the statement “wholly wrong”.
“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, 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.”
Rowling has become something of a divisive figure in recent years due to the author’s controversial transphobic comments. Much of the Harry Potter cast, including stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, have all denounced Rowling’s comments. Even beyond the controversy, Rowling also did not appear in HBO Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special which saw much of the cast and more come together, nor did Rowling contribute a new, filmed interview for the special, though it was clarified later that Rowling had been invited to participate, but her team decided that existing, previous comments from the author were sufficient. The special ended up using archival footage of Rowling from 2019.
As for the Harry Potter franchise, the latest film in that overall universe, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, opened in theaters earlier this year, though it fell short of box office expectations. The film has since performed well on streaming, jumping to the top of the Nielsen charts for the week it debuted on HBO Max back in late May.
What do you think about Warner Bros. statement regarding J.K. Rowling? Let us know in the comments.