Warner Bros admits it was ‘wholly wrong’ to block Sky News questions in JK Rowling censorship row | Ents & Arts News

Warner Bros. defended JK Rowling against the decision to ban Sky News from questioning the Harry Potter author at an event on the Warner Studios Tour last week.

In the process of running to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 25th Anniversary weekend, Sky News was invited to interview Tom Felton about the launch of a new Mandrakes and Magical Creatures attraction, but when we asked about Rowling PR interjects asking us to move on to the next question.

In an email trying to explain why Rowling’s name was not mentioned, the PR (introduced to moderate the event) said Rowling was “not related” or “relevant to Warner”.

(For transparency; executive Rowling produced the films).

Read more:
PR effort to separate JK Rowling from Harry Potter

A spokesman for the world-famous American film studio Warner Bros. Studio Tour has now issued a statement by Sky News in response to the controversial question-censorship incident with Felton, admitting it was “completely false” and that they are “proud” to work with “a of the world’s most successful storytellers” over the past 20 years on both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, and that “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets it happened as part of a traditional event through that day”.

This is an important development in the story of how Rowling has been treated, some say dropped, in an apparent backlash, by most of the media and corporate world. career, including having the author stripped of the award by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights group.

Many argue that Rowling was forced to sit more behind at Harry Potter premieres and celebrations because of her stance on women’s rights.

Her June 2020 tweet about “people who menstruate” led to public accusations of transphobia, which she denies, and a subtextual essay about space and gender. homosexuality, and specific proposals for reform of transgender rights laws from the 56-year-old author followed a few months later.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, JK Rowling and Emma Watson at the UK premiere of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in 2004. Photo: AP
Harry Potter brain Rowling seems to have been forced to step back in recent years. Photo: AP

In the lengthy essay, which revealed her own experience of sexual assault and severe domestic violence for the first time, Rowling said she felt compelled to write after reading about the new progress. of the Scottish government in changing gender recognition laws.

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson responded (individually) to denounce Rowling’s comments as damaging to the transgender community, and over the past two years the debate has only grown increasingly heated, becoming increasingly polarized.

Press censorship

When Sky News asked Tom Felton – not about the right to convert (that would be irrelevant or appropriate for him to comment) – but about Rowling’s absence from the Harry Potter events as he and the rest of the cast Another cast member is still the face of the franchise, 34-year-old actor Draco Malfoy didn’t get a chance to respond when a PR interruption caused the topic to be turned off.

Later, the PR person hired to run the Harry Potter event claimed that Rowling was not “involved” in it.

Press censorship and the power of PRs to dictate coverage is an issue of increasing concern to journalists.

Deadline reported last month that it could not publish their interview with Cannes Film Festival head Thierry Frémaux because the press team not only requested approval of the copy, but also the removal of “content that includes sentences of potentially offensive reply from Frémaux regarding diversity and controversial filmmakers”.

Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in Harry Potter will reunite in 'Back to Hogwarts & # 39;  - special 20th anniversary program
JK Rowling was absent from the recent reunion of the Harry Potter cast

Read more:
JK Rowling criticized for ‘robust’ and ‘offensive’ tweets
Authors leave JK Rowling’s literary agency because of her comments about transgender people
Emma Watson was ‘overwhelmed’ when she reunited with the Harry Potter stars

Sky News has also observed an increased number of interventions over the past year by PRs wanting to control the story.

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

Interviewees can decline to comment on whatever they choose, and they are typically instructed on how to handle certain questions, rather than silencing journalists.

Full statement from Warner Bros.

The full statement sent by Warner to Sky News read: “Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive and fulfilling partnership with JK Rowling for the past 20 years.

“She’s one of the world’s most successful storytellers, and we’re proud to be the studio that brings her vision, characters and story to life now – and for decades to come.

“On Monday, a statement released by a third-party media outlet appeared to contradict this view.

“The statement is completely false and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets that it occurred as part of the media event that day.”

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