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  • J.K. Rowling's latest Dumbledore comment feels like a cop-out (opinion) - CNN.

Rowling was famously broke when she wrote the series, and the theme of class and social segregation on that basis -- muggles vs. Of course, as time went on, heterosexual romances were featured in the written series. And the idea that in a school filled with hundreds of teenagers -- let alone the wider world they later explore -- Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger might not meet an openly LGBTQ person at any point is laughable.

However, it's easy to forget how much the landscape has changed over the last couple of decades. Rowling can't forget. The little boy J. Rowling can't forget It would have been very difficult to get an explicit gay romance into a book aimed largely at elementary school-aged children at the time. By the time the later books came out, the massive span of its distribution -- they are sold in countries -- could also have made this tricky. These aren't necessarily good excuses.

J.K. Rowling's latest Dumbledore comment feels like a cop-out

Philip Pullman introduced a moving relationship between two male angels in "The Subtle Knife," the second of his Dark Materials trilogy, which was also published in the UK in That book was admittedly aimed at a slightly older age group, but nevertheless, it was managed. For whatever reason, the opportunity to feature more diversity in "Harry Potter," once missed in print, might have been taken on screen. The failure on that score has become less excusable over time, but it is not all J.

Rowling's fault. She relayed the story of a script reading for the sixth Potter film, during which she had to slip the director a note to explain why a line about the wizard longing after a girl in his youth had to be cut.

Why are memes of black people reacting so popular online? | Culture | The Guardian

She explained that Dumbledore falling for Grindelwald added to his horror when the dark wizard turned to evil. Rowling reveals secret manuscript For Rowling, the significance of this narrative doesn't appear to lie in Dumbledore's sexuality, but in the amplification of a great betrayal. You get the sense that with these explanations, she simply feels she is filling in the blanks. The broader context into which these new remarks have been released hasn't done Rowling any favors.

Though her sincerity about her characters is evident, her latest comments on Dumbledore come alongside a distasteful "trendy" commodification of LGBTQ culture in recent years. This makes any apparently superficial affiliation look opportunistic -- especially when it is not backed up by any "visible" evidence. Rowling also has a track record of making rather tone-deaf proclamations. The reveal that lycanthropy the power of a human to transform into an animal-like state was a metaphor for HIV was especially memorable and ill-considered , considering that werewolves could become dangerous and out of control.

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She also has a tendency to blur the line between fiction and reality -- and use the wizarding world as a tool with which to make sense of the real one. In a Twitlonger , she explained what Harry's views on Israel might be. As off-key as this comes across in public, this way of thinking is perfectly normal for a fantasy writer.

But the sheer scale of Rowling's platform and reach is unprecedented. The highly personal nature of "Harry Potter" to so many people places huge pressure on her to maintain an exceptional, universally inspiring standard as a figurehead. She is very visible, very successful and very wealthy.

This makes her something of a flashpoint when things go wrong. Stay up to date The casting of Korean actress Claudia Kim as Nagini, a snake subservient to an evil Nazi-esque villain, and the misattribution of Nagini's name to Indonesian mythology was a major one. It looked especially careless given the criticism the series has historically received for being overtly white.

I was surrounded by black culture at the time. I loved it and I miss it … There is such a thing as black culture.

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It exists. There was this desperate scramble to squeeze her into some semi-relevant stereotype of a black woman. Blackness has long had a certain cachet for non-black people, yet the anonymity of the internet makes slipping in and out of alternative identities all the more of a temptation.

Gay, black and HIV positive: America's hidden epidemic

The point, however, is that all these instances of digital blackface exist within the same cultural context: And, yes, that would include deliberately using the wrong colour emoji. Their attempts at confronting even overt racial harassment on their platforms have been laughable at best, yet leading gif database GIPHY says it, at least, is already taking the phenomenon seriously. The average internet user, on the other hand, seems far more prone to react defensively to any discussion of digital blackface.

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Of all the responses, though, there is one that Jackson finds particularly bemusing: It seems like people with that response are more interested in brownie points for being a Good White Person than doing the more rigorous ongoing work of checking their behaviour online. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Culture. Reuse this content.