Warner Bros Admits It Was ‘Completely Wrong’ To Block Sky News Questions In JK Rowling’s Censorship Queue | Ents & art news

Warner Bros. has defended JK Rowling, contradicting a decision to ban Sky News from asking questions about the Harry Potter author at an event on the Warner Studios Tour last week.

In the run up to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 25th Anniversary celebrations over the weekend, Sky News was invited to interview Tom Felton for the launch of a new attraction Mandrakes and Magical Creatures, but when we asked about Rowling the PR intervened and insisted we move on to the next question.

In an email attempting to explain why Rowling’s name could not be mentioned, the PR (enabled to run the event) said Rowling is “not relevant” or “connected to Warner”.

(For transparency; Rowling produced the films).

Read more:
The PR attempt to divorce JK Rowling from Harry Potter

A spokesperson for the world-famous American film company Warner Bros. Studio Tour has now issued a statement to Sky News to dispute the controversial question censorship incident involving Felton, admitting it was “completely wrong” and that they are “proud” to work with “one of the world’s most talented storytellers” in for the past 20 years in both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and that “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets that it happened that day as part of a media event”.

This is a major development in the story of how Rowling has been treated by much of the media and business, some say canceled, in an apparent backlash, including the author being deprived of an award by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights group. .

It is widely believed that Rowling was forced to lean back more at Harry Potter launches and anniversaries because of her stance on women’s rights.

Her June 2020 tweet about “people who menstruate” sparked widely publicized allegations of transphobia, which she denies, and a passionate essay about same-sex and gender spaces, specifically proposing legal reforms on transgender rights from the 56-year-old author followed a few months later.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, JK Rowling and Emma Watson at the 2004 UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Photo: AP
The mastermind behind Harry Potter, Rowling, has seemingly been forced to sit back in recent years. Photo: AP

In the lengthy essay, she first revealed her own experience of serious sexual assault and domestic violence, which, Rowling said, she felt compelled to write about after reading about the Scottish government’s latest advances in changing the laws. in the field of gender recognition.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson responded (separately) to denounce Rowling’s comments as hurtful to the trans community, and over the past two years the debate has only intensified and become increasingly polarized.

press censorship

When Sky News asked Tom Felton — not about trans rights (that wouldn’t be relevant or appropriate for him to comment on) — but about Rowling’s absence from Harry Potter events when he and the other cast members remain the faces of the franchise, the The 34-year-old Draco Malfoy actor didn’t get a chance to answer because the PR interrupted the topic.

After that, the PR hired to run the Harry Potter event suggested that Rowling was not “relevant” to it.

Press censorship and the power of the PRs to dictate the story is a growing concern for journalists.

Deadline reported last month that they were unable to publish their interview with Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Frémaux because the press team not only demanded approval of the copy, but “content including potentially uncomfortable answers from Frémaux regarding diversity and controversial filmmakers.” ” deleted.

Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who play Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, have reunited for 'Return to Hogwarts' - a special 20th anniversary program
JK Rowling was absent from the recent Harry Potter cast reunion

Read more:
JK Rowling criticized for ‘condescending’ and ‘transphobic’ tweets
Authors leave JK Rowling’s literary bureau over her comments about transgender people
Emma Watson ‘overwhelmed’ by Harry Potter star reunion

Sky News has also seen some heightened intervention in the past year by PRs eager to control the story.

Press freedom is at the heart of exposing the likes of Harvey Weinstein and R Kelly.

Interviewees can refrain from commenting on whatever they choose and it is common for them to be briefed on how to handle certain questions, rather than silencing journalists.

Full statement from Warner Bros.

The full statement that Warner emailed to Sky News reads: “Warner Bros. has had a creative, productive and rewarding partnership with JK Rowling over the past 20 years.

“She is one of the world’s most talented storytellers and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters and stories to life now and for decades to come.

“A statement was issued by an external media agency on Monday that appeared to contradict this view.

“The statement was completely wrong, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets that it happened that day as part of a media event.”

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