British author JK Rowling has addressed her absence from the ‘Harry Potter’ reunion special, stating that it was her choice not to appear in the show that aired on January 1.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, in an interview on Saturday as part of Graham Norton’s ‘Radio Show Podcast’, which airs on Virgin Radio UK, the ‘Harry Potter’ author clarified her absence beyond archival footage in ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’.
In a clip from the podcast, Rowling noted that despite speculation, she was asked to participate in the reunion and that “no one said don’t come.” She said, “Yeah, I was asked to be on that and I decided I didn’t want to do it. Thought it was about the films more than the books, you know, quite rightly. I mean, that was what the anniversary was about.”
After it was confirmed that Rowling would not appear for the reunion as part of the retrospective marking the ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ release, her absence was speculated by many to be due to the controversy around her comments about transgender people.
Those comments have been condemned by a number of LGBTQ+ rights groups, including GLAAD, the Human Rights Coalition and The Trevor Project. Though the star author had not previously commented on her absence, sources told Entertainment Weekly that her team believed the author’s archived comments which were shown in the reunion “were adequate” and also denied that Rowling’s comments about the trans community played a part in her decision not to appear.
Several of the Harry Potter stars like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have opposed Rowling’s views and made public statements against them.
Other actors, like Ralph Fiennes and Robbie Coltrane, have come out with statements supporting Rowling.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Rowling also talked about her relationship with the movie franchise’s “young cast,” including those who have “spoken out about you.” She said, “I have. Yes, I do. I mean, some more than others, but that was always the case. You know some I knew better than others.”