Harry Potter spin-off game Hogwarts Legacy has been at the center of multiple controversies, none more so than the political views of J.K. Rowling. The creator of the Harry Potter franchise, Rowling has been made the icon of anti-trans politics with active transphobes wearing her face as a mask.
Prior to Rowling’s TERF exposure, the Harry Potter franchise was a beloved property for millions of queer people, including trans people. However, following the author’s turn to hateful ideologies, many are boycotting the Wizarding World as a whole.
Caught in the crossfires is actor Sebastian Croft. A star from Netflix’s beloved LGBTQ+ TV show Heartstopper, Croft has been called out for his involvement in Hogwarts Legacy as the voice of the game’s male protagonist. In response, the actor could only apologise.
In a post on Twitter, Croft responded to the backlash against his involvement in the project. The actor explained that he was attached to the video game years ago, before Rowling’s heavy anti-trans beliefs were publicly known. However, they are sorry for letting fans down.
“I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views,” Croft said on Twitter.
The actor made sure fans are aware that they do not follow Rowling’s beliefs. “I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men,” they continued.
“I know far more now than I did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3. I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement,” Croft said. “There is no LGB without the T.”
Croft isn’t the only actor who has seen backlash over their involvement in Hogwarts Legacy. Hot Fuzz and Star Trek actor Simon Pegg, a left-wing advocate, has also been criticised for his involvement in the game as Hogwart’s Headmaster.
At the time of writing, Rowling’s politics have been criticised by many, including the movie stars that embodied her characters for years. All three of the series’ main actors — Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson — have denounced the author for her hateful politics.
Despite Rowling’s comments, Hogwarts Legacy is still on track to be one of the biggest games of 2023. The magical RPG is releasing on February 10th for current-gen consoles and April 4th for last-gen consoles. Nintendo Switch players have to wait until July 25th.