Harry Potter actor told not to discuss JK Rowling at Warner Bros event

·2-min read
JK Rowling - Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
JK Rowling - Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Questions about JK Rowling were blocked at an official Harry Potter event, with actor Tom Felton instructed not to discuss her.

Felton was promoting a new attraction at the Warner Bros Studio Tour, an exhibition dedicated to the Potter universe.

He was asked by a Sky News reporter if it felt strange that Rowling had not been involved in recent activities celebrating Harry Potter’s 25th anniversary.

A publicist immediately stepped in to say: “Next question please.” Felton made no move to answer.

Sky later said it had asked why the question was blocked, and received the reply: “JK Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton. The team felt it was not relevant to the piece.”

The question, posed by Sky’s Claire Gregory, was: “You and the other stars of the film are very much still the face of the franchise. JK obviously has more of a back seat now. Is it strange her not being around for things like this?”

Several of the actors made famous by the Harry Potter franchise have publicly distanced themselves from Rowling after she was accused of being transphobic.

Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the films, has said little on the issue but was criticised in 2020 for liking one of Rowling’s tweets.

Harry Potter photocall at Claridges Hotel, Mayfair, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton - Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph
Harry Potter photocall at Claridges Hotel, Mayfair, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Tom Felton - Geoff Pugh for The Telegraph

He later told an interviewer that he did not want to wade into the row, saying. “I’m not Mr Social Affairs … Lord knows, I’m the last person that’s going to wade in with opinions about what other people have said.”

Rowling first entered the trans debate in 2020 when she mocked a news headline that referred to “people who menstruate” rather than “women”.

She tweeted: “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.”

Her words prompted Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the films, to respond: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

Radcliffe added: “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken … I feel compelled to say something at this moment.”