Friday, November 2, 2007

J.K.Rowling Under Attack.

Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling has come under attack by Christian evangelicals in the United States ever since she outed master wizard Albus Dumbledore as gay. Apparently this happened after she had told a New York audience recently that Potter's head teacher was in love with rival wizard Gelert Grindelwald.

Matters seem to have heated up with talk shows in the US Bible belt in the south and websites condemning and reviling her. Newspaper letter columns have also been filled with complaints. Roberta Combs, president of Christian Coalition of America, said :"It is disappointing that the author have to make one of the characters gay. It's not a good example for our children, who really like the books and the movies. I think it encourages homosexuality."

Calling for a ban on her books, Jack M. Roper on TV evangelist Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, said : "Harry Potter is one hero who has captured the innocent hearts of many children. When such a hero uses evil as a problem-solving tool, we need to be warned. Over time, the child can be adapted to the dark world of witchcraft and not even know that it is dangerous."

Even those who supported this "outing" have not been spared. Melissa Anelli, of The Leaky Cauldron website, said : "My inbox is full of people who wish to let me know that I'm scum for supporting this outing, that J.K. Rowling should go back to the devil who spawned her, etc. It's really disgusting. We're trying to simply ignore it."

There are now fears that the backlash may affect profits at Warner Bros, which has two new Potter movies to make and a DVD on sale this Christmas.

The controversy reminded me of what author Anne Rice went through with her novel - "Memnoch The Devil" but it does leaves me wondering why Rowling would out Dumbledore as a gay, now that the series is truly over? More hype for her series? I very much doubt so as she definitely does not needs it.

I found the manner of the "outing" troubling though, as it is apparently an answer to a young fan question about Dumbledore's love life at a reading of her last book. Besides it being totally unnecessary, stating that Dumbledore is gay hardly seems an appropriate answer to a young child and with the series central themes of love, bravery, courage and loyalty, there really wasn't a need to muddy the waters with issues of sexual orientation, especially with it's popularity with children worldwide.

*Related posts :
- Turmoil In The Kingdom of The Golden Compass
- Tales of Beedle The Bard
- What Is J.K. Rowling Working On Next?
- Life After Harry Potter


clairec23 said...

I doubt that they'll lose out on profits, there are fair more people who like to be entertained than there are who will try to gather up hatred against someone or something. I think it's terrible that people are being personally attacked over this.

Yes, it is quite odd how she revealed it...I'm not too sure why but the fuss that's been kicked up by some people is a bit, well, mental.

My Den said...

Hi claire23,
Most of the attacks were actually re-hashed by religious groups who were against her books from the start. The element of homosexuality just gave them extra..fuel.

I think her status as a bestselling author makes her an easy target for these groups but still, i would prefer that the Harry Potter series retained it's timeless themes without sexual issues muddying the waters.

Thanks for popping by and i have been trying to catch up with your reviews of Bebo authors.

Take care and have a happy holiday!

PAZ designs said...

I can not call myself a Harry Potter fan… I do not own all the merchandise that came with the movies and I do not have JK Rowling’s autograph inside my wallet but I grew up with Harry… I was just 2 years older than Harry Potter when the Philosopher’s Stone was released. I have been following the story ever since.
Dumbledore’s sexuality, from my point of view, explains more of the Grindelwald incident than the actual explanation he gives to Harry.
To be homosexual has nothing to do with being sexual… Dumbledore was just in love and his love to Grindelwald blinded him from his real purpose, allowing fanatical ideals into his head; Ideals that were not his own.

My Den said...

Hi paz designs,
Great insight from a Harry Potter fan. But because of the series themes of magic and wizardry coupled with Rowling's outing, it will always be a magnet for criticisms by religious groups. Sometimes to the point of being irrational.

The closest in recent history of an author who had undergone similiar treatment will be Anne Rice with her "Memnoch The Devil".

Thanks for popping by and have a happy holiday!

Alan said...

I suspect her 'outing' of Dumbledore was a spur of the moment thing and nothing Rowling planned. She was asked a question and made clear what her creative vision had been.

While they may make noise, the protesters are unlikely to do any harm to Harry Potter at the box office. The books continue to circulate heavily at the library and a few offended conservatives are small match for the legions and legions of devoted HP fans.

My Den said...

Hi Alan,
I am glad her series is still being sought after at the library as it will be a sad day if people overlook the series' central themes of love, loyalty, courage and the triumph of good over evil.

Great to hear from you and happy holidays.

ender said...

i was kind of surprised when rowling announced it ... except that it did make perfect sense with the overall themes that she espoused during the whole series. i wrote a kind of long post about it and i hate just linking to it, so i'll give a little quote:

A child asked, Did Dumbledore ever find his true love?
A lesser writer would have said, no, he never did. Or perhaps, yes, he did, but it went badly and so he decided to always be alone.

But Rowling has some fervent beliefs. One is that people should be accepted for who they are ... and their differences should be looked upon as good things. Neville could so easily have been dismissed as a buffoon. She didn't let that happen. Draco could have easily been dismissed as "the bad kid" ... but things got more complicated than that. She did not want one-dimensional cardboard children, which leads to her second fervent belief: children are not stupid.

Given those two beliefs, how else could she answer that question, knowing the truth of that character? It was time to acknowledge the "missing piece" of the Albus/Grindelwald subplot. And, it might also have helped to explain Aberforth's turmoil with his brother as well.

(if you want more of that article it's here.)

My Den said...

Hi Ender,
That was a fantastic piece of dissertation!

While we know the difference between "in love" and sex, the minute the word is used between similiar genders, it is expected that those whom i call "loonies" will start their looney tunes.

Thanks for the great insight and it
was a pleasure reading your post. Happy holidays!