Harry Potter studio Warner Bros says it was ‘wrong’ to block JK Rowling question at event

Warner Bros has responded after Tom Felton was blocked from asking a JK Rowling question at a Harry Potter event.

The Draco Malfoy actor was promoting a new attraction at the Warner Bros Studo Tour, when Sky News asked a question about Rowling, the author who created the wizarding world. She also produced the film series.

In a video shared by the outlet, the studio can be heard preventing journalist Claire Gregory’s question from being answered, which has led to controversy over censorship.

At the time, The Telegraph noted that Warner Bros’ response to asking why the question had been blocked was: “JK Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton. The team felt it was not relevant to the piece.”

However, a spokesperson for the Warner Bros Studio Tour has now told Sky News it was ‘wholly wrong” to prevent the question from being answered. The spokesperson said the tour is “proud” to work with Rowling, whom they called “one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers”.

The statement continued: “Warner Bros Studio Tour London regrets it happened as part of a media event that day.”

The Independent has contacted Warner Bros Studio Tour London for comment.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London says it’s ‘proud’ to work with JK Rowling (Getty Images for Warner Bros.)
Warner Bros Studio Tour London says it’s ‘proud’ to work with JK Rowling (Getty Images for Warner Bros.)

Rowling has been mired in controversy in recent years, coming under fire for her comments on transgender people. She was met with a backlash in June 2020 after calling out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”.

“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” she wrote, adding: “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

While there was a contingent of Twitter users who supported Rowling for her tweet, there were plenty – including numerous celebrities – who criticised her comment as “anti-trans” and “transphobic”, pointing out that trans men, non-binary and non-gender conforming people can also menstruate.

Felton had been asked about Rowling’s absence from numerous Harry Potter events, including the 20th anniversary special Return to Hogwarts in which Warner Bros seemingly distanced itself from the author by reusing a tiny amount of archive footage filmed years before.

Rowling has repeatedly rejected accusations that she is transphobic, and has claimed that she “knows and loves” trans people.