Hogwarts Legacy Controversy: Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche Studios’ long-awaited Harry Potter video game, has finally seen more details and gameplay footage revealed. There’s no doubt that this is the ultimate game for Potterheads.
They can finally go to Hogwarts, learn spells from Defense Against the Dark Arts, hang out in Hogsmeade, and battle evil wizards in a gorgeous role-playing game. While Hogwarts Legacy delivers on every wish of series devotees, it is mired in controversy that will only grow as its release date approaches.
The story of Hogwarts Legacy has been called out for being antisemitic, and J.K. Rowling has also been criticized for comments she made about the trans community. Recent criticism has focused on a lack of diversity in both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series.
With so much bad press surrounding the Harry Potter films, Hogwarts Legacy has a tough uphill battle. Many former fans have even turned against the franchise.
Comments from J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling has been using her platform to address the transgender community for the past few years, and many of her remarks have been deemed transphobic by critics. She began by making light of the historical existence of a word for women who menstruate in response to an opinion piece about them.
Following the backlash to her initial comments, Rowling elaborated on her beliefs, explaining that while she does support the community, she believes that eliminating the concept of sex also eliminates people’s ability to discuss their lives.
J.K. Rowling followed up these tweets with a blog post titled TERF Wars, in which she detailed her concerns about trans activism. Several of her followers and other social media users publicly called her out for her transphobia after reading her comments.
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint all declared their support for the trans community and spoke out against J.K. Rowling.
Eddie Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts films, has also spoken out against Rowling, and Warner Bros. has issued a statement in response.
J.K. Rowling has not been deterred from her advocacy for transgender people by the criticism she has received.
In 2020, she tweeted a series arguing that the mental health industry and medication are a new form of conversion therapy and that many young people are being pushed to undergo hormone replacement therapy or gynecological surgery against their will.
Meanwhile, Rowling published Trouble Blood, about a serial killer who kills women by pretending to be them.
The novel caused even more uproar because its plot implied that readers should never trust a man who is dressed as a woman. The trans community has felt like they’ve been attacked again after her transphobic comments, and this book only added to that feeling.
— Kotaku (@Kotaku) December 28, 2022
Difficult Villains in the Hogwarts Legacy
Not only has J.K. Rowling been accused of making transphobic comments, but the plot of Hogwarts Legacy has also been panned. In the game’s narrative, players must put a stop to a rebellion of goblins in the late 1800s.
The goblins and the dark wizards will work together to try to topple the current Wizarding World governments. The plot has been criticized for being anti-Semitic and for making the player actively work against the rights of goblins.
Many people think the goblins in the Harry Potter movies look just like the Jews in Nazi propaganda, and this has led to accusations that the goblins are spreading anti-Semitic imagery.
Goblins in the films are depicted in even more extreme ways, such as having hooked noses and running the Wizarding World’s economy.
Goblins in Harry Potter are treated as inferior to humans, denied education on par with that of the wizards, and denied their own wands. Years before Harry was born, in the late 1800s, Hogwart’s Legacy unfolds.
What this means is that goblins may have even fewer legal protections than they do in the Harry Potter universe. In the plot of Hogwarts Legacy, the players put down a goblin uprising, but the goblins’ only real grievance seems to be their lack of rights.
Even though the player character is more likely to be the antagonist, the title makes them out to be the bad guys. There is a lack of information about the story, but it appears to be problematic on the surface.
— Inside the Magic (@InsideTheMagic) December 29, 2022
Issues with Diversity in the Harry Potter Series
It has come to light in recent years that the Harry Potter series has a history of diversity issues and tone-deafness.
The minority characters are poorly realized and forced into the narrative. Cho Chang is one of the few Asian characters in Harry Potter, and Rowling gave her that name despite the abundance of fantastical names like Severus Snape and Luna Lovegood in the wizarding world.
The Patil sisters first appeared in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but the costumes they wore to the Yule Ball have been criticized for being an offensive parody of Indian culture.
The fact that Voldemort’s snake Nagini was originally a South Korean woman who will become his pet and a horcrux drew criticism to Fantastic Beasts as well.
Even as its release date draws near, Hogwarts Legacy must contend with a great deal of criticism. Author J.K. Rowling has continued to spread her rhetoric on Twitter, most recently claiming that the South Wales Police LGBTQ+ outreach program was virtue signaling.
Further, the Hogwarts Legacy plot has come under fire, though this may change once players have access to the full story.
Even so, the Harry Potter books have come under fire for their perceived lack of diversity in recent years. As more and more complaints are made, the game’s supporters will have to wait to see how developer Avalanche Studios responds.