Can we still love a book even if its been written by an author who’s hate towards others is loud, both in social media and other avenues? Can we separate the art from the artist, or the writing from the writer? Should we? And if so, why? If not, why not?
These are important questions. And questions I’ve been wrestling with a lot lately. I can’t speak for others, but when someone is vocal about their hate, especially if it affects a minority group, then I have to question why I may have liked their work (if I ever did).
History has proven time and time again that there have been many writers who have been less than exemplary when it comes to what they think of others. Many authors who wrote the classic literature we still enjoy today were racists, bigots, homophobes, sexist, and sometimes just downright nasty people. Did it matter though? Should it matter?
More recently there has been an author of a very famous series of books (of which I adored) who has become increasingly vocal about the hate they have towards a minority group. Not only that, in their latest novel (under a pen name), they even showcase their hate as a model for the book’s plot.
The thing is, I loved the Harry Potter books this author once wrote (some 20 odd years ago now). They gave hope and light when both were needed, not just for me but for many, many people, young and old. Then, and I suppose after this author had gained millions of sales and fans, their true colours began to show. They are now using their platform to spread this agenda. I have no idea why. What purpose does it serve other than to validate their own hate? Why say anything at all? Are they just attention seeking? Unaware? Or are they being clever with their hate to manipulate others for their own gain?
Sure, this author has succeeded in dividing people, but don’t all hate speakers do that? Because that’s what this author is. A hate speaker. I can’t put it any more plainly. Also, the author of the Harry Potter books is a criminal (because hate speech is a crime, no matter its forms). It is senseless and unnecessary. If you look at this author’s tweets, there’s proof enough there of this crime.
I believe this author has issues. After all, they wrote one of the most popular series of books for children in modern times. Are they worried their fame isn’t enough? That it was waning? Now, instead of continuing to spread light and hope, they have turned to other methods to remain in the spotlight. For continued attention perhaps? For what purpose? Money?
I have watched horrified by what this author has been doing over the past couple of years and have become increasingly worried. Not for myself. But for the group of people they’ve attacked. I’m reluctant to say, in the case of this author, I can no longer separate the writing from the writer. I can no longer, in good conscience, support this author in any way by remaining a fan of the Harry Potter books. It’s sad when someone we thought was good turned out to have a rotten core. When indeed the author became the villain from their own story.
And as such, I can no longer speak their name…