From celebrated to controversial: J.K. Rowling

Muyao Guan, Reporter

 J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has been lauded as a cultural touchstone and one of the top children’s books in the world. 

   Similarly, her position as its author gave Rowling great fame and wealth, with Forbes calling her the world’s first “billion-dollar author.” Reportedly, she has donated much of her wealth to charity— so much so that she is no longer considered a billionaire.

   However, today, she is seen as much more controversial.

   Rowling’s reputation went from a beloved author to an infamous celebrity in a gradual fall from grace. She has continued to make universe changes to Harry Potter even after the last book was published in 2007. 

   Some of these changes were considered to be trivial details and fun facts; however, other changes became more scrutinized. She tweeted that Dumbledore was gay and in a relationship with his apparent lover-turned-enemy, Grindelwald, despite it not portrayed in either the Harry Potter books nor the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” spin-off prequel movie series.

   Public backlash intensified when in 2020, Rowling took to Twitter to post disparaging remarks against the transgender community. She alleged that it took away from women’s rights, which many LGBTQ+ activists interpreted as transphobic. 

   Rowling was labeled as a “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” for her discriminatory comment— “TERF” for short.

   Today, she has become a highly polarizing figure, and some struggle to reconcile this image of her with the beloved and brilliant author she used to be.