The wizarding world of Harry Potter has spawned a bestselling book series, high-grossing movies, theme parks and a strong licensed brand. The author of the book has become one of the best-known writers in the world, but has faced increasing backlash for insensitive comments.
What Happened: The author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, has enjoyed worldwide fame which has brought her net worth to six figures or seven figures depending on who you ask.
The book series could be extended into more movies, with Warner Bros. Discovery WBD considering a reboot or potential sequels.
Several of the stars of the original movie series have distanced themselves from Rowling due to comments she has made that are considered anti-trans.
Rowling was asked recently, “How do you sleep at night knowing you’ve lost a whole audience from buying your books?”
Rowling offered up a response on Twitter that might not win back any Harry Potter fans or stars.
“I read my most recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly,” Rowling tweeted in response.
In 2020, Rowling tweeted about trans people.
“If sex isn’t real there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t here to speak the truth.”
Stars of the Harry Potter film franchise have spoken out over the years about Rowling, with Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, being the latest.
Felton credited Rowling with being “responsible” for Harry Potter, but shared that Rowling wasn’t as involved with the film series as some may believe.
“It is also a reminder that as much as Jo is the founder of (these) stories, she wasn’t part of the filmmaking process as much as some people might think,” Felton said.
The actor said he only remembers seeing Rowling on the set of the films twice.
Felton said he was “pro-human rights across the board.”
“Anything that is not those things, I don’t really have much time for.”
A 2020 Business Insider report listed Rowling’s net worth in a range of $650 million to $1.2 billion.
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Why It’s Important: The Harry Potter book series is one of the bestselling of all time, with over 500 million copies sold since the first book was released in the United Kingdom in 1997. The books were a big winner for Scholastic Corporation SCHL, which was the publisher.
The film franchise, which includes movies under the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts storylines, have grossed over $2.9 billion domestically, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The movie franchise ranks as one of the highest-grossing domestically of all time.
Along with strong box office and book sales, the brand has also been turned into theme park attractions under a deal with Comcast Corporation CMCSA and its Universal Studios brand.
As Warner Bros. Discovery fights to extend the franchise for film or television, it could face a backlash from some fans if Rowling is involved. Based on Rowling’s comments, she might be comfortable sitting back and just collecting money without involvement.
A 20th-anniversary special aired on HBO Max in 2021 and had Rowling notably absent.
Rowling has over 14 million followers on Twitter, giving her a large audience to hear her opinions.
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