JK Rowling is perhaps the most beloved author of the past 25 years, as the Harry Potter books have proven to be a cultural behemoth that resonates with each new generation. But Rowling has once again found herself the target of online criticism after she spoke about the sexual relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore on the special features for the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray release.
“Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship,” Rowling said during the ‘Distinctly Dumbledore’ feature. “But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know. So I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationship.”
Naturally, people on Twitter began to have some fun at Rowling’s expense.
J.K. Rowling is breaking ground as the first author to write their own slash fiction.
— Maris Kreizman (@mariskreizman) March 17, 2019
Users had a lot of fun noting her love for adding in an elaborate backstory for characters instead of writing a new book.
jk rowling: dumbledore has a cyst, it’s currently oozing, and then it popped on the broom ride here. it’s just been a messy week…
— imp (@imp_kid) March 18, 2019
And, of course, people used it as an opportunity to explore the sexual history of other characters.
jk rowling: draco's first sexual fantasy was of a small spider wearing a wig
— Anne T. Donahue (@annetdonahue) March 18, 2019
Since she finished the seven-book series, Rowling has faced some criticism for adding in details to the Harry Potter story after the fact that many feel serve as an unnecessary retconning of the books. The most divisive example of this is when she revealed in 2007 that Dumbledore is gay after not mentioning his sexuality at all in the thousands of pages of the actual story.
And honestly, it’s hard not to poke fun at her insistence of adding backstory that many argue is a blatant and unnecessary attempt to be woke. While there’s nothing wrong with an author giving context for the relationship of two major characters, in this case, either put it in the actual movie or just don’t talk about it.