I liked Jo Rowling. I liked her books. I liked her writing style. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as you are blanketed in fame, fortune, popularity and spend far more of your life in the limelight than you realized you would, you suddenly succumb to media pressure and do something stupid.
Case in point, The Harry Potter series was doing just fine. It was fantastic as far as I was concerned. It’s been so good that it vaulted Jo Rowling into almost instant fame. The movies based on the books have been held to impeccable detail following the book and not deviating from the book, per Jo Rowling’s wishes. Then while she is lambasted with eager young kids with questions galore at the Carnegie Hall, she ruins the entire series with what I am sure she thought would be catering to what the public wants, or catering to a new market to sell more books and movies. In any case, Jo Rowling was asked a perfectly innocent question from a youngster “Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?”
Now, understand, Jo Rowling is an adult, writing books that typically are aimed at a young readership, but also makes them appealing to adults as well. Her answer to this young fan was:
…recently I was in a script read through for the sixth film, and they had Dumbledore saying a line to Harry early in the script saying ‘I knew a girl once, whose hair…’ I had to write a little note in the margin and slide it along to the scriptwriter, ‘Dumbledore’s gay!’
Now, PLEASE! I am begging, someone tell me, why would Jo Rowling come to a fan gathering, book signing, and seeing all those young faces of happy children eager to meet their new idol, and announce (after a perfectly innocent question) that “oh ya, one of my characters is gay”? I mean really folks, the right answer should have been “no, the story doesn’t go into a love life with this character (which is the indisputable truth). The story focuses on the lives of the children characters in it” and left it at that. But no, Jo Rowling saw an opportunity, she seized the moment (in front of the young audience) and dollar signs flashed in front of Rowling’s eyes as she announces “yes, yes as a matter of fact, that’s right, yes indeed, that’s a great idea, Dumbledore IS gay, I’m glad I thought of it” and sits back with a smirck of financial windfall and popular controversy on her face. Maybe she just got this grand notion that she had to be “politically correct” and add gay community to her story since she already included a nice smattering of ethnicities in the books. The problem is, the smattering of ethnicities is nicely evident in the books, social issues of peer pressure and other childhood problems are a focus in her characters, as well as puppy love and cliques or clubs, gay issues are not.
Jo Rowling did a great job of covering a lot of issues in the lives of children growing up and facing the challenges of their surroundings and life issues in general, in her books. I never read one hint of homosexuality in her books. So why try and incorporate it after the fact to a fan base of generally children?
As far as I am concerned, this was a HUGE blunder by Rowling, and I am sure she had no idea what the implications of announcing that the “Head Master, The Definitive Authority at a school of children, the Respected Leader and symbol of what is good and right in the world”, would be by making this character gay all of a sudden, or at all.
I just don’t get it.