J.K. Rowling Addresses the Whiteness of “Fantastic Beasts”

Though Dylan Marron’s sobering “Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in the Entire Harry Potter Film Series” has recently drawn more widespread attention to the lack of diversity in the world of Harry Potter, the supercut being featured on major news outlets like Seventeen and Buzzfeed since its release last week, the topic has been one of debate in the fan community for years – and for good reason.

Despite espousing the ideals of love and acceptance, some fans have been less than receptive of the idea that Harry’s world is a diverse one. Several months ago, we featured an excellent guest post by Marissa Lee, co-founder of Racebending.com, entitled “In Support of a Newt of Color,” and though Eddie Redmayne has been cast in the role in the time since then, ending that particular dream of many Potter fans, the essay is well worth a read.

With the announcement of Fantastic Beasts, many fans saw an opportunity for more diversity in the wizarding world, but as of this posting, all of the actors announced for the franchise are white. Twitter user Vividscarletsky brought her concerns to J.K. Rowling herself:

Although Jo and Dee were able to have a good conversation (and fans everywhere were given hope that there will be some diversity in Fantastic Beasts after all), the topic is far from closed. A call for diversity is a vital issue for fans to lend their passion to because when we work together, we really can make a difference in the world. All fans should hope for – and demand – a more inclusive representation of the magical world we all love so well. Let’s hope we get to see part of it in Fantastic Beasts.

The header image is cropped from art by Tumblr user Batcii.

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.