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J.K. Rowling isn't 'thinking about my legacy' amid backlash: 'Whatever, I'll be dead'

Has J.K. Rowling tarnished her legacy with her controversial comments about the transgender community? She doesn't seem to be giving that question much thought. 

On the new podcast The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author addressed critics who have told her that "you've ruined your legacy" and "could have been beloved forever" had she not repeatedly made remarks that have been widely condemned as anti-trans, per Variety

"You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly," Rowling told these critics. "I do not walk around my house thinking about my legacy. What a pompous way to live your life, walking around thinking, 'What will my legacy be?' Whatever, I'll be dead. I care about now." 

Since 2019, Rowling has regularly come under fire for her positions on issues related to the trans community, including a tweet where she mocked a headline using the phrase "people who menstruate" instead of "women." She also asserted that "if sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased." Her remarks have been condemned by GLAAD and many of the actors involved in the Harry Potter franchise, and they led some fans to boycott the recent video game Hogwarts Legacy.

On the podcast, Rowling said she "never set out to upset anyone" but "was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal." 

Hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling is a seven-episode podcast featuring interviews with Rowling conducted at her home. In the first episode, Phelps-Roper said she will explore the "intense, widespread, and vocal backlashes" against Rowling "from people whose politics could not be more at odds," including LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and Christian fundamentalists, asking, "What is it about this woman and her work that has captured the ire of very different groups of people across time?"