When I wrote my previous post on the downfall of the author of Harry Potter, I was not aware of how many young adults, who adore her books, she really deeply hurt with her growing crusade against transgender men and women and all who support them. The rule, don’t hurt people, she has violated now so terribly that it became uncouth to be associated with her.
One could think that that is what becoming a billionaire and a star does with people. But that’s not true. Oprah Winfrey would never talk like that. And, on closer inspection, her books known for the impossible to happen all the time are surprisingly hetero-normative. And, some anti-Gay, anti-Jewish, and pro-slavery ideas have now been spotted where the glare of mystery previously made them go stealth.
Only in 2017, the Guardian suggested that Britain should erect statues of people less controversial than the ones who now look down on us in stone or bronze. Their readers poll made Rowling come out first! Sadly, a statue was never commissioned. Sadly, because what could be better now than to topple that in our era of a modern Beeldenstorm [statue storm]?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not for destroying people’s reputations. But she doesn’t need anyone’s help in that. She’s done it all by herself. Just like she singlehandedly created her fame, she was the one who now made herself infamous all by herself. And instead of having empathy for her bewildered fans, she doubles down on her bigotry. What these four policemen who murdered George Floyd unwittingly did for the fight against racism and police brutality, Rowling now does to highlight the plight of transgenders.
One question highlighted by many of her well-speaking debaters is, in how far are art and the artist connected and how much can they be separated?
Could we still enjoy Michael Jackson’s masterly dancing and songs, though there are most credible reports now that he was a serial child molester?
Can we still marvel at Salvador Dali’s art now we know he was a monster?
Can we admire Adolf Hitler’s lifeless paintings? Hang them on our wall?
Should we still enjoy Woody Allen’s movies — with sex central to many of them, if reputable people accuse him of (but didn’t prove) sexual abuse?
Can we drive a Volkswagen, though Hitler promoted its greatest success?
Can physicians use any (pseudo-)medical research done in Auschwitz?
Can we read (for our kids) any Roald Dahl if the author was a bad chap?
Can we still enjoy the many great movies produced by Harvey Weinstein?
Can we still feel warm and fuzzy about Potter though his author is a bigot?
My two cents: Use whatever good there is by whoever created, it for the betterment of us all, including yourself. Don’t throw out anything but note the suffering the creators caused. Try not to enrich them. And be highly aware of any hurtfulness their work could be promoting subliminally.