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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

Before someone whiny complains about this article just from reading the title, let me clarify that I LOVE Harry Potter with my whole heart. Generally, I hate fantasy because I cannot get into it. My overly rational brain intrusively shouts, “This isn’t real by the way. Don’t get too attached.” Harry Potter, on the other hand, immersed itself into my soul entirely (I stand by the fact that I was always meant to attend Hogwarts, but my owl got lost on the way to deliver my letter when I was eleven).

You know what I don’t love? Knowing that JK Rowling treats her fans as an afterthought. I think we’ve all experienced feeling as though we are a second choice. Imagine feeling that way… all the time.

Representation of marginalized bodies lacks, and even when it’s there, it is usually done in poor taste. Fat girls are the butt of jokes. Queer people are reduced to beautiful, Troye-Sivan-esque, cis, white, gay men who say, “YAAAAAAAS” every ten minutes. The only people of color that are represented are usually black men who are only funny because they’re the sidekick who “talks black.”

You may think these are sweeping generalizations, but let’s take a look at this article Alyssa Rosenberg wrote for Think Progress in 2013.  If the United States population reflected the casting of shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox, it wouldn’t look anywhere near to what the United States population actually is. To create this analysis, Rosenberg included any adult characters, leads, and gave the benefit of the doubt to any characters of color shown, even if they weren’t main characters. These are the results:

Source: https://thinkprogress.org/what-the-u-s-would-look-like-if-it-mirrored-the-main-characters-on-prime-time-network-television-e27c6509bb60/

That being said, I think Rowling can clap back at Trump, talk about what a “feminist” she is, and claim that she’s sooo liberal all she wants, but I don’t believe her. None of her fans do. She is one of the most successful people with one of the largest franchises in the media…and she does nothing progressive. It’s an unfortunate truth that every Potter fan should be aware of – JK Rowling only likes minorities when they’re convenient for her. Her “activism” is made up of frivolity. No claims are ever represented.

For example, we’re supposed to just know Dumbledore is gay without any evidence that he has been in a relationship with a male? Imagine how powerful it would be to have the very embodiment of wisdom, patience, trust, kindness, and all things good who is Albus Dumbledore represent the gay community. Imagine how powerful it would be. Rowland’s  oh-so-classy response when asked about Dumbledore’s potential representation?

I guess Rowling is a feminist as well, but I don’t see her supporting women by keeping Johnny Depp in his role as Grindelwald for the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movies. Yes, Depp who physically abused his wife by throwing a cell phone at her face, among  other things. Yes, Depp who was in the first movie for a whole five minutes with a ridiculous amount of stage makeup to make him fit the part. Yes, Depp who could be easily replaced. We know he can be. I mean, he dipped his toe in the water of the movie. Meanwhile, Kevin Spacey was immediately removed from his most recent shooting after sexual abuse allegations and the film was re-shot with Mark Wahlberg. Spacey was the protagonist. Depp could be easily replaced, but it hasn’t happened.

Silver lining! The Harry Potter cast has our hearts. Daniel Radcliffe openly acknowledged that he does not support Depp’s casting on the basis that there are double standards between the famous and unknown actors. For example, the actor who played Crabbe was immediately removed from the movies after six films because he was growing weed, while Depp abused another person and is kept. Also, Emma Watson, a former white feminist, has since apologized for her ignorance and is educating herself more about intersectional feminism. Unlike JKR, Watson is cognizant of the fact that she isn’t perfect and she has room to grow. This gives me hope. I feel that the world of Harry Potter can’t be tainted, because literal Harry Potter and his friends are there to back the needs of the people no matter what. Maybe it’s time their creator steps it up, too.

Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor