I distinctly remember immense suspense before the last Harry Potter books were (written and) published. What a frightful amount of power the author had. No one should have so much uncontrolled might. But in the liberal West, she had more clout than many a tyrant. Think about it.
Harry could have died. I think that fiction authors, totally free to create any ending they want, who chose a bad ending should be executed (almost).
In the end, she could have revealed that the cute hero, Harry, was a wicked master imposter and the one we thought a villain all the time was actually the good one fighting evil. It would have shocked millions of young readers with self-mutilations and suicides all over the globe sky-rocketing.
Or worse, both parties could have both outed as evil powers, vying for world domination. Think about how devastated and disillusioned many young readers would have been by such a nihilistic plot ending.
Or even worse, she could have ended her Potter series with a plea for removal of every notion of evil from our minds and laws as evil would be subjective and people with certain preferences have been discriminated against for centuries, like liars, rapists, and murderers. All publishers would probably have rejected such a text, but the manuscript would have leaked onto the Internet anyway eroding natural morality among our youths.
Or, very differently, Harry could have come out Gay, upsetting millions of semi-tolerant parents and libraries. She could have been a monumental force for LGBTQIA rights — could’ve. (She actually revealed, off-script, that another character was Gay but he had died in the end — the old Hollywood school that for decades could not produce a Gay movie with a happy end.)
Do you see her incredible power? And she wasn’t tested or chosen by any institute that could vouch for her integrity or moral compass. And she was not an elected official with accountability or reviewers.
And she still has an enormous influence. Anything she says, sensible or not sensible, will get world coverage. So far, she’s always stood for the underdog and oppressed. But that reputation is now spoiled.
Rowling has recently started trashing the trans community, not inhibited by too much information but motivated by lots of animosities. She has ‘explained’ her resentment by saying that she was the victim of (male) sexual violence. Such a public admission is always brave, from any person and from any celebrity. Kudos for that. But it cannot ‘justify’ attacks on even more vulnerable people. The life expectancy of transmen is 35 years!
To have Rowling reverse course will be a truly uphill battle. But no one will accept any other outcome. She’d better clean up her record and apologize.
But in the end, Rowling is not the problem. The real challenge is for all cisgender people to become aware of their cisgender privilege and to learn to listen, without judgment, to transgenders and have enough empathy to speak up for rights and safety for all trans people everywhere always.