No, HBO: Don't Platform Transphobia!

HBO Board of Directors

In April, HBO announced the launch of a new Harry Potter TV series. As long time fans of the series, we wish we could be excited. But because of the harm that J.K. Rowling perpetuates against trans people, we just can't be. That's why we're asking HBO to cancel the show and not platform transphobia. Will you join us?

Petition by

To: HBO Board of Directors
From: [Your Name]

Dear HBO Board of Directors,

We write to you as a collective of Harry Potter fandom leaders asking you to cancel the proposed television adaptation of the Harry Potter series.

Because of JK Rowling’s ongoing transphobic rhetoric, making a Harry Potter series at this time is an endorsement of transphobia. A TV show on a large network will not only give her a larger platform to speak against trans people, but the additional royalties from the show will further embolden her harmful behavior¹.

HBO CEO Casey Bloys has been quoted disregarding the conversation about Rowling’s transphobia², saying that their focus will be “what’s on the screen.” This ignores the fact that what is on the screen does not exist in a vacuum. For example, in the podcast “The Witch Trials of JK Rowling”, Rowling compares those working for trans rights to Death Eaters, the murderous villains of the Harry Potter series³. The proposed TV show would be inextricably linked to those words, no matter what the show itself contains.

Transgender people are among society’s most vulnerable, and trans rights are under attack as anti-trans bills further erode civil rights in both the US and UK⁴. Rowling’s transphobic statements and actions have been a huge influence on the anti-trans movement. In the past, she has used her money and influence to spread misinformation about trans people⁵, support various anti-LGBTQ individuals and causes⁶, and has spoken out against trans rights legislation in Scotland⁷. Oklahoma senator James Lankford even quoted one of Rowling’s essays when blocking the 2020 Equality Act⁸ ⁹. The publicity that Rowling receives from this TV show will be used to further support the anti-trans movement, endangering gender non-conforming people in the US, UK, and beyond¹⁰.

The organization GLAAD dedicates a whole page to Rowling’s transphobia as part of their Accountability Project¹¹, which aims “to monitor and document individual public figures and groups using their platforms to spread misinformation and false rhetoric against LGBTQ people, youth, and allies.”¹² HBO is a network that has received numerous accolades¹³ ¹⁴ from GLAAD for its above-average LGBTQ representation compared to other networks¹⁵ ¹⁶. To greenlight this project goes against what the public has come to expect from your organization.

Because of the real-world impact of Rowling’s statements and her clear intention to continue spreading transphobia, the Harry Potter Fans Against Transphobia coalition urges HBO not to go forward with this project. We are the people who grew up with Harry Potter, and who cultivated the loving Harry Potter community that has cemented the series as a cultural artifact. Yet, we see the real, immediate harm that J.K. Rowling’s behavior is causing to trans people everywhere, and for that reason we cannot support the creation of this show.

We stand with the trans community and everyone fighting for trans rights. We do not want this show. We will not watch this show. It’s time to pull the plug, both on this show and on platforming transphobia.


Alex Combs
Anna Meriano
Ariel Factor Birdoff
Asher Chelder
Autumn Brooke
Bisexual Harry
Black Nerds Create
Camp Half-Pod
Donnie Cianciotto
Draco and the Malfoys
Dream Quaffle
Fanatical Fics and Where to Find Them
Fandom Forward
Geek Herring
Goblet of Wine
Grace Kendall
Harry Potter & the Sacred Text
Harry and the Potters
Hawthorn & Holly
Her Dark Materials
How Airplanes Fly
Is It Camp?
Ivy-Oak Bech Charlton
Jackson Bird
Kat Miller
Kathryn Henzler
Kirstyn Hippe
Lauren Fairweather
Lez Hang Out
Lina Henk
Madam Pince and the Librarians
Maia Kobabe
Melissa Anelli
Of the Eldest Gods Podcast
Reality Bomb: A Doctor Who Podcast
Restricted Section Podcast
Swish & Flick Podcast
Swish & Flick (Wizard Rock)
Tanya Cook
That's What I'm Tolkien About
The Gayly Prophet
The Leaky Cauldron Site
The Lovegoods
The Protego Foundation
The Real Weird Sisters
The Whomping Willows
Tonks and the Aurors
Totally Knuts
Urban Wizards Social Club, Inc. / The NYC Harry Potter Meetup
WZRD Radio Podcast
Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey podcast
Witch, Please

If you are a fan creator or organizer who would like to be added to the letter, email hpfansagainsttransphobia[at]gmail[dot]com

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