Here is Warners’ full statement:
The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues. Warner Bros.’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.
Rowling initially tweeted a series of thoughts on Saturday that she believed women should be defined by their biological sex and not their gender identity.
“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 hate to speak the truth…The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women — ie, to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences — is a nonsense,” tweeted Rowling.
Those remarks drew criticism from GLAAD, Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne, who defended trans identity and trans rights.
Today in response to the uproar, Rowling posted a lengthy essay on her website, defending and expounding upon her trans views.
“I forgot the first rule of Twitter – never, ever expect a nuanced conversation – and reacted to what I felt was degrading language about women. I spoke up about the importance of sex and have been paying the price ever since,” writes Rowling (you can read her essay here).
While Rowling state that “Trans people need and deserve protection” she expressed her worry about “the new trans activism” and how their call for gender identity would greatly impact the rights of cisgender women.
The author became triggered to tweet her thoughts after reading that the Scottish government was proceeding with gender recognition plans which she believed were “controversial” and “which will in effect mean that all a man needs to ‘become a woman’ is to say he’s one.”
In defending herself, Rowling relayed her experience as a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
“If you could come inside my head and understand what I feel when I read about a trans woman dying at the hands of a violent man, you’d find solidarity and kinship. I have a visceral sense of the terror in which those trans women will have spent their last seconds on earth, because I too have known moments of blind fear when I realised that the only thing keeping me alive was the shaky self-restraint of my attacker,” said Rowling.
“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces,” wrote Rowling earlier today.
WarnerMedia’s response follows that of Universal Parks & Resorts, which is home to the Harry Potter rides and attractions in Los Angeles and Orlando, that conglom saying “Our core values include diversity, inclusion and respect for all our guests, as well as our team members. Our theme parks are places where people and families of all types are welcome to enjoy their time together. Beyond that, we have no further comment.”
Currently, Warner Bros. has paused production on the third Fantastic Beasts movie in the UK due to the feature production COVID-19 shutdown around the globe. That Harry Potter spinoff series has grossed $1.47 billion from two movies. Together with the $7.7 billion that the Harry Potter movies have grossed at the global box office from eight movies, feature adaptations of Rowling’s Wizarding World works stand at $9.1 billion.