It is no news that Warner Bros. is amid brutal turmoil regarding its recent show of support for the Harry Potter series author, JK Rowling, in the aftermath of her tweets receiving death threats when she showed support for Salman Rushdie after the Chautauqua University incident. On top of everything that the studio has been facing, the author who has been labeled as transphobic is just another name in a long list of partisans contributing to the tragic decimation of WB’s reputation, the latest being the anti-Semitic message being propagated via the Harry Potter game, Hogwarts Legacy.
WB Faces Criticism For Anti-Semitic Harry Potter Game Plot
In a fresh wave of controversy, the Warner Bros. Studio is under the threat of a boycott from a faction of its fandom involved in the gaming world of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Legacy. Set against the backdrop of JK Rowling‘s fictional universe, the game explores the fantasy world as players are allowed to “decide the fate” of the universe and are faced with hard choices at every turn making the interactive platform enact toward “determining what they stand for.”
However, in the to-be-released game, there is a section that explores “The Goblin Rebellion” which has been described as “a series of rebellions in which the goblin population of the Wizarding World revolted against discrimination and prejudice toward their kind by wizards and witches.” The players as heroic wizards will be charged with crushing their rebellion in an in-game battle.
The problematic ideals in “The Goblin Rebellion” lie not merely in the representation of the creatures as an “anti-Semitic stereotype” but also in the game’s detrimental message advocating oppression and the crushing of those who seek to rise against their own disenfranchisement.
Hogwarts Legacy Faces Emergent Calls For Boycott
As prejudices of the Wizarding World’s creators and distributors keep stockpiling on top of allegations each worse than the last, the anti-Semitism charge is only the latest. One critic, Kevin Rhodes, who has addressed the issue at hand argues against the “committed transphobe JK Rowling” and against Avalanche Game’s lead designer, Troy Leavitt, who in Rhodes’ words,
“…has been a harsh critic of social justice movements, was a proponent of Gamergate, called the MeToo movement a “moral panic” and claimed that society gives deferential treatment to LGBTQ+, POC, women, and disabled people. And Warner Brothers knew this before they hired him to make this game.”
Rhodes further continues that the era centered around which the game revolves (1890) had witnessed widespread anti-Semitic propaganda in Europe, especially in the aftermath of the publication of a fabricated text, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, that strived to describe a Jewish plan for global domination. Rhodes claims,
“The goblins of the Harry Potter series have long been criticized as offensive Jewish stereotypes, with critics pointing out their control of the magical banking system, their greed, and their exaggerated facial features.
… This game where the player fights against greedy, child-abducting Jewish stereotypes, the game where the player suppresses an uprising of an oppressed race who are pushing back against their own disenfranchisement, disarmament, slavery, and murder, in order to maintain the supremacy of the dominant culture… I beg you, please, don’t buy this game. Walk away from both Rowling and the Wizarding World. Don’t give Warner Brothers any more money.”
Hogwarts Legacy which explores a 19th-century setting of Hogwarts, Hogsmeade, and the Forbidden Forest, is set to come out on 10 February 2023 on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.
Source: Kevin Rhodes