The solution to JK Rowling.
Whether or not you agree with her, author JK Rowling’s recent Twitter spats have revealed an uncomfortable obstacle for Harry Potter fans; how do you enjoy the franchise, which largely touches on themes of combating bigotry and supremacy, and seeing the world as a magic place, is owned by a person who uses her fortune and influence to promote dubious claims?
Well, fret no matter, for whether you’re a half blood or pure-blood (HP slang for people who have only read the books/seen the films or have experienced both, respectively) there is a simple solution which will allow you to continue to indulge in your fandom while also ensuring a strong message is sent to the real life Dolores Umbridge that you don’t wish to contribute to her sway over public opinion;
Piracy. Pirate the books. Pirate the films. Pirate the games. Pirate as much as possible.
Sounds controversial? Well, consider the following.
IT’S MADE ENOUGH MONEY FOR LONG ENOUGH.
The Harry Potter series is 23 years old. HP, the series, can drink as much Firewhisky as it wants. In that time it’s amassed an estimated $25 Billion (€32 Billion when combined with the expanded universe franchise “Wizarding World”). The series has been pirated all those years, yet it still made that much? JK is not the same as the everyday struggle writer. She’s got hers. She’s fine. So have everyone involved with the franchise (Bloomsbury, Warner Bros, Lego, Daniel Radcliff, etc) got paid, made their royalties, and they’ve moved on. They’re fine, they’re sorted. Pirate away.
IT’S CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.
Protests and demonstrations, whether the civil rights movement, Indian independence, Labour strikes, BLM, have all found success and victory the second they affect someone’s income.
You have every right to not support something while simultaneously not changing your behaviour to not affect them. They are the ones who have made the rule they expect you to follow. Your cooperation should not be taken for granted.
JK has every right to believe whatever, just like you have every right to not support something you are opposed to. Discussions, debate, ridicule, and mockery has not swayed JK. You’re wasting your energy. If she wishes to stand her ground, fine, you stand yours. Share and spread digital copies. It is not your fault that JK was embedded herself so much into the franchise that you can’t justify paying for official content when you know it’ll go into her time and efforts spent spreading misinformation. Support indie artists who sell custom HP merch and art on platforms like Etsy or Red Bubble or Deviant Art.
YOU MADE HARRY POTTER. NOT HER.
This might be hard for Harry Potter fans to admit; HP was a fluke. JK herself admitted that she was told to not expect much from the publication, since children books weren’t big earners in the late-90s. Personally, I am of the opinion she (despite what she’s claimed) had no plan what-so-ever, got to Goblet of Fire, realised “oh, I need a plot” and dashed to slap stuff together (don’t @ me). But HP became what it did not because of solely JK. Without you it would have been one of the countless YA soft-magic fantasy books with middling sales. You made it a success. You. You cheered Harry on. You applauded for Radcliff, Watson, and Grint. You bought the books at midnight. You sped-read them. You.
This is not a perfect solution. It’s as much a serious suggestion as it is hyperbolic. But here’s the thing; no one person deserves to control culture, let alone when they have shown themselves to be condescending, belittling, and dismissive. JK can’t have it both ways. She can’t control a massive piece of culture that out performs Barbie, The Simpsons, and Sesame Street, and then expects everyone to be okay with her tarnishing a series that, ironically, helped many of the people she’s negatively affected. She has every right to believe what she wants, but she has no right to sully your relationship with a piece of culture that’s determined your beliefs and still profit from it.