Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment President David Haddad, whose studio will be developing and publishing the upcoming Harry Potter MMO Hogwarts Legacy, recently defended franchise author J.K. Rowling’s right “to express her personal opinion on social media” in regards to her vocal criticism of transgender politics.
On September 30th, WBIE held a company wide Q&A session, in which employees were encouraged to voice their thoughts on a variety of topics surrounding the studio and its upcoming titles.
According to an alleged video of the Q&A sent to Bloomberg News reporter Jason Schreier, Haddad was soon inundated with questions concerning WBIE’s working relationship with Rowling, as many employees were concerned or personally offended by Rowling’s recent comments on transgender issues.
In response to these questions, Haddad sought “to echo something you’ve heard from our most senior executive leadership” and told employees that “While JK Rowling is the creator of Harry Potter, and we are bringing that to life with the power of Portkey, in many places, she’s a private citizen also.”
“And that means she’s entitled to express her personal opinion on social media,” Haddaded asserted, before noting that while he “may not agree with her” or “her stance on a range of topics,” he could “agree that she has the right to hold her opinions”.
According to Bloomberg News reporter Jason Schreier, Haddad later “answered a question about diversity/inclusion by adding that WB Games is working with LGBTQ rights orgs and that he spent an hour and a half talking to the director of trans media representation at GLAAD.”
“No mention of Rowling or Harry Potter there,” observed Schreier.
Rowling’s involvement with Hogwarts Legacy appears to be a growing point of contention for players and employees who disagree with the author’s opinions.
On the game’s official FAQ page, launched immediately after the announcement of the new title, the studio clarified that “J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game” and that Hogwarts Legacy “is not a new story from J.K. Rowling”.
Hogwarts Legacy is currently set for a 2021 release.
What do you make of Haddad’s statement? Do you agree or disagree? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!