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Why are Twitch streamers boycotting Hogwarts Legacy?

By Olivia Richman


Feb 7, 2023

Reading time: 4 min

Twitch streamers are planning a boycott on Twitch due to the streaming platform’s Hogwarts Legacy advertisements.

Hogwarts Legacy is officially launching on February 10, 2023, but there is already major controversy surrounding the game. The game is based on the Harry Potter book series, which was written by author J.K. Rowling. Once an inspiration in the young adult literature world, Rowling has become well known for her Twitter rants against trans individuals.

Now, some transgender streamers are leading a boycott of Twitch over the game.

Hogwarts Legacy ads on Twitch lead to boycott

Twitch streamer Veronica “Nikatine” Ripley tweeted on February 5 that she planned to cease all streaming as long as Twitch chose to run its Hogwarts Legacy campaign. This includes an abundance of ads during streams as the game’s release looms overhead.

“I call on every streamer to join me in taking a stance against bigotry, hatred, and those who support such views,” she tweeted. “I call on Twitch to end this harmful relationship with Hogwarts Legacy and continue to take steps towards providing a safe place for the trans community.”

The heartfelt call to action currently has over 71.6K likes. While many streamers and content creators have voiced support for the boycott, a lot of the responses have been from people stating that they will continue to enjoy Hogwarts Legacy when it arrives. Some people even called for the separation of Rowling from the game, but Rowling will be receiving royalties from Hogwarts Legacy’s sales.

What is the controversy behind Hogwarts Legacy?

This streamer-led Twitch boycott is nothing new. Ever since Hogwarts Legacy was announced, people have been calling on the gaming world not to support the game. But why?

While Rowling was not directly involved in creating the game, the developers did admit to collaborating closely with Rowling’s team. She is also going to receive royalties from the game’s sales. This has upset many in the LGBTQ+ community since Rowling became known for her vocal anti-trans rhetoric on Twitter.

It also came to light that the theme of Hogwarts Legacy may be rooted in anti-semitism. According to some protesters, the storyline revolves around a goblin uprising, but you will play on the oppressors’ side. The goblins in Harry Potter and the current video game have long been compared to Jewish stereotypes created during World War II, which include their appearance, their job as bankers, and their greedy behavior. But it’s worth noting that this storyline existed in the original Harry Potter series as well, and the uproar is completely new.

This goes along with accusations that the game’s designer, Troy Leavitt, is alt-right, stemming from his former YouTube videos. These videos include titles like “In Praise of Cultural Appropriation” and “In Defense of John Lasseter.” Other videos are in favor of Gamergate, which targeted women in the gaming industry.

“I’m happy to say that, even though I disclosed my YouTube channel to WB Games, it didn’t appear to be an issue for them. Not that they endorse anything that I’ve said, of course, but at least they seem more concerned with making good games than with pushing some kind of a social justice agenda, so there is hope,” Leavitt said in 2018.

What did J. K. Rowling say about trans people?

Rowling started to concern the LGBTQ+ community and their allies in the summer of 2020 when she retweeted an op-ed about menstruation and wrote that she was mad they didn’t use the word “women” instead of “people who menstruate.” At the time, she added that she supported trans people but was weary about grouping them with women.

As she continued to share similar sentiments on Twitter, Rowling received a lot of backlash from the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. In response, Rowling shared a TwitLonger called “TERF Wars.” TERF stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” She has continued to share similar sentiments ever since, claiming that she feels “silenced” for her views on trans people.

At this point, many celebrities also started speaking out against Rowling, including Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter in the movie series. Emma Watson also made her voice heard. Stephen King added that “trans women are women.”

Soon after, Rowling released a book called Trouble Blood which was about a detective trying to hunt down a male serial killer who dressed as a woman in order to prey on women. Reviewers claimed that it seemed to be Rowling’s way of telling people to “never trust a man in a dress.”

Since then, Rowling’s views on trans people have been solidified over and over for the past few years. This has led many to call for a boycott of Rowling’s books, movies, and now Hogwarts Legacy since her opinions as an influential author is deemed harmful to the LGBTQ+ community.