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She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: J.K. Rowling Removed From Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture's Harry Potter Displays

The Museum of Pop Culture (Mopop) in Seattle removed all mentions of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling from their displays based on the books.

Rowling has been a target of extreme hate and frequent death threats from trans activists due to her unwavering belief that men cannot become women.

The museum announced the removal with a post on its website titled “She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.

The post stated that Rowling’s “transphobic viewpoints are front and center these days, but we can’t forget all the other ways that she’s problematic: the support of antisemitic creators, the racial stereotypes that she used while creating characters, the incredibly white wizarding world, the fat shaming, the lack of LGBTQIA+ representation, the super-chill outlook on the bigotry and othering of those that don’t fit into the standard wizarding world, and so much more. We’re going to be focusing on You-Know-Who’s transphobic views in this blog post because she’s really doubled down on them lately.”

The post was written by a transgender museum employee who is also a board member of the Seattle Trans and Nonbinary Choral Ensemble.

The museum has removed references to Rowling from the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic and Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame exhibits. She had been inducted into the museum’s Hall of Fame in 2018.

The museum’s CEO also issued a statement about the decision and confirmed the removals.

“MoPOP is moving towards the culture of philanthropy and our mission of promoting diversity and inclusion, in the next three years MoPOP is looking to create opportunities for underrepresented voices in the arts and culture sector,” the statement read. “We want to root ourselves in empathy, collaboration, and empowerment.  We believe that by valuing and amplifying diverse perspectives we can create a more inclusive society where everyone’s unique talents and contributions are recognized and celebrated.”

The CEO added, “Here at MoPOP as we move forward in this third decade of the organization, we are dedicated to driving social impact and fostering diversity and inclusion through the culture of philanthropy. We invite you to connect with us to collaborate, to create a more equitable and vibrant arts and culture sector in museums that truly represent the richness of our diverse society.”

Rowling was first branded as a “TERF,” or “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” in June 2020, when she took issue with an article referring to “people who menstruate” instead of using the word “woman.”

“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,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.

In a tweet on International Woman’s Day in 2022, Rowling wrote that “apparently, under a Labour government, today will become We Who Must Not Be Named Day,” in response to a tweet pointing out that Annalise Dodds, Chair of the Labour Party, had claimed she was not sure how to define the term “woman.”

“Someone please send the Shadow Minister for Equalities a dictionary and a backbone,” Rowling tweeted.

Rowling previously wrote a lengthy blog post about her concerns with trans-activism.

“So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside,” she wrote. “That is the simple truth.”

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