The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle has decided to remove any mentions of JK Rowling from its hall of fame and Harry Potter exhibition because of the author’s gender-critical opinions. The museum claims that Rowling holds “super hateful and divisive” views on transgender issues, specifically her belief that women should not face consequences for believing in biological sex.
In response to these accusations, MoPOP has chosen to airbrush any references to Rowling from the exhibition while still showcasing Harry Potter memorabilia. Chris Moore, the exhibitions project manager at MoPOP, confirmed this decision and defended it in a blog post, condemning Rowling’s views and justifying the removal.
It is worth noting that JK Rowling was inducted into MoPOP’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2018, before she publicly expressed her opinions on transgender issues. However, Moore argues that Rowling’s work contains racial stereotypes, fat-shaming, and a lack of LGBTQIA+ representation, leading to the decision to reduce her impact on the exhibition.
Several actors from the Harry Potter franchise, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, have expressed support for the transgender community. Radcliffe and Grint have affirmed that trans women are women, while Watson made a donation to a transgender lobby charity in 2020.
Throughout this controversy, Rowling has faced online abuse for her gender-critical views and has raised concerns about the safety of biological women in the face of the push for easier legal gender change.
MoPOP has released a statement affirming its solidarity with nonbinary and transgender communities, emphasizing its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in pop culture.
The decision by MoPOP to remove JK Rowling’s references has sparked a broader discussion about free speech and how differing views on transgender issues should be handled in public spaces.