The public perception of a certain famous wizard and his magical school has been on the decline as of late. Even the announcement of the new game, Hogwarts Legacy, has many scrutinizing the lore of the Harry Potter franchise.
In particular, the recent trailer for the Hogwarts Legacy video game has revealed that the plot revolves around an uprising of goblins. While goblins are standard bad guys in a lot of fantasy worlds, the particulars of J.K. Rowling’s version of the creatures has many calling foul.
And comparing them to antisemitic tropes.
This isn’t a new accusation.
Rowling’s portrayal of goblins has been compared to antisemitic tropes since they first appeared in her books.
The description of their hooked noses, love for gold and beady eyes is right out of a White supremacist propaganda pamphlet. On top of all this, the goblins in the game are presented as instituting a rebellion, siding with dark wizards as a response to their own oppression.
Meaning in this game, you’re literally fighting oppressed minorities.
Rowling’s vocal views on transgender people had already dulled reception to the new video game. Having the game feature a marginalized group as the villains isn’t doing the game any favors.
Arguments against the claim of antisemitism—that it isn’t spelled out the goblins are meant to be Jewish caricatures—is a bad faith argument. The antisemitic tropes have been a common feature of goblins in fantasy, but their continued use acts as a dog whistle for the same hate groups that originally spawned the caricatures.
This video game was a chance to fix this issue, but instead they doubled down.
Hogwarts Legacy is set to release at the end of the year.
However, between the goblin controversy and J.K. Rowling’s transphobic views, there’s already been widespread calls to boycott the game.