Separating the Art from the Artist: J.K Rowling

Tiffany Lopez, Reporter

In recent times, with the help of social media, there has been a series of celebrities, authors, filmmakers, and other big names that have been called out for controversial comments. 

This raises an important question being faced daily on social media: can we separate the art from the artists?

Tiffany Lopez

A prominent example of this phenomena is J.K Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series.  Harry Potter is a seven-book series that older and younger generations have grown up with. This made many people feel betrayed and hurt when she released her controversial points of view and controversial responses. 

She’s been accused of queerbaiting (a marketing technique used to attract LGBTQ+ but never shows any explicit LGBTQ+ moments), using Native American culture as part of the magical world, stating her transphobic views, and more. 

The Harry Potter franchise has gotten even more attention recently with the help of TikTok. The character Draco Malfoy has risen to fame on TikTok especially with his actor, Tom Felton, joining the app and interacting with fans on “DracoTok.” 

History teacher Ethan Krizman is a Harry Potter fan who has wrestled with this question.

“I am old enough to remember when the first book came out and my mom reading it to me before going to sleep,” he said. “That was all the way back in 1997.” 

Krizman said that there is a lot to learn from Rowling’s comments.

“If you feel hurt by her statements, it is important to express that, but it is equally important to educate and maybe not to forget, but to forgive,” he said. “That is how people learn and grow from their mistakes.”

According to Venice High senior Keith Venable, students can enjoy franchises like Harry Potter by purchasing merchandise in alternative ways.

Second-hand stores and bookstores are a great way to find merchandise and there’s also people on social media who make their own Harry Potter merchandise. People can support a small business, enjoy Harry Potter, and not give any money to J.K Rowling if they don’t want to support her.

“Buy from the clearance section at Goodwill, second-hand bookshops, or share books and stuff with your friends,” he recommended. 

Junior Ifemoma Nsofar offered this piece of advice with those confronting problematic creators.

“Do not let any words offend you,” she said. “If the person is your role model or a person you know, do not stay silent. Tell them what they are saying is wrong or you disagree.”