J.K. Rowling Book Burning Videos Are Spreading Like Wildfire Across TikTok

A new TikTok trend has emerged this week as former "Harry Potter" fans protest author J.K. Rowling's widely criticized views on trans people by burning copies of her books.

One video, posted by TikTok user @elmcdo shows a number of "Harry Potter" books being placed on a burning pyre.

"You have to stop using 'death of the author' as an excuse to have your cake and eat it too," the voiceover says. "While the reader's perspective is an important part of interpretation and meaning, it is impossible to completely divorce a work from its creator."

The voice-over continues: "The positive impact that J.K. Rowling's work had on millions of readers does not negate how her hateful lobbying has affected the trans community.

"This doesn't even touch on the harmful fatphobia, racism and valorization of supramacists and child abusers in her most famous work."

The video ends with the message: "Your love of 'Harry Potter' is not more important than the lives of trans women."

Newsweek has reached out to @elmcdo for comment on the book-burning video. Rowling's representatives declined to comment.

A number of other videos showing "Harry Potter" books being destroyed are circulating on the platform.

Over on Twitter, a discussion around burning Rowling's books is circulating also, as many former fans react to one of the controversial elements of her latest book "Troubled Blood". The fifth in her Cormoran Strike detective novel series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith features a plotline involving a male serial killer who disguises himself in women's clothing.

A Guardian review of the book condemned the "utterly tone-deaf decision to include an evil man who cross-dresses after months of pain among trans people and their allies,"
with a number of people on social media citing the book as another example of the author's transphobia.

Irish popstars Jedward tweeted: "Does anyone need firewood this winter! JK's new book is perfect to burn next to a Romantic fire. Aww get all cozy and comfy can't wait."

While British TV personality Piers Morgan snapped back: "If we're going to start burning things—which we shouldn't—I'd rather start with your entire musical back catalogue. Fyi."

Many Twitter users are uneasy with the idea of burning books in general, regardless of an author's views.

One person tweeted: "Oh, book burning! How progressive!!" While another added: "1930s Nazis called. They want their book burning policy back."

Rowling is also facing scrutiny this week when she was forced to deny that her pseudonym Robert Galbraith is linked to the anti-LGBTQ+ gay conversion therapist named Robert Galbraith Heath.

"J.K. Rowling wasn't aware of Robert Galbraith Heath when choosing the pseudonym for her crime novels," a spokesperson told Newsweek. "Any assertion that there is a connection is unfounded and untrue."

Rowling's representative pointed out the original explanation for the name—which was originally published on the original Robert Galbraith website—is inspired by one of the writer's heroes, Robert F. Kennedy.

JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling attends the premiere of "Finding the Way Home" at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. Rowling has been accused of transphobia again for the subject matter of her latest book. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty
J.K. Rowling Book Burning Videos Are Spreading Like Wildfire Across TikTok | Culture