Now another Cambridge College axes its Harry Potter-themed event after ‘transphobic’ row: Furious undergraduates hit back against formal dinner associated with JK Rowling’s wizarding worldUndergraduates at Girton College condemned the event’s links with Ms RowlingFollowing the backlash the committee switched the theme of the eveningGirton’s dinners are held in the college’s magnificent dining hall every ThursdayBy Sarah Harris for the Daily Mail
Published: 23:08, 28 October 2022 | Updated: 23:29, 28 October 2022
It seemed like a perfect theme for a pre-Halloween celebration.
But a Cambridge college ditched its Harry Potter concept for a formal dinner after angry students complained that it was ‘transphobic’.
Undergraduates at Girton College condemned the planned event’s association with author JK Rowling, who has been outspoken in her views on transgender issues.
Undergraduates at Girton College condemned the planned event’s association with author JK Rowling , who has been outspoken in her views on transgender issues
Miss Rowling’s position on women’s rights has seen her ‘cancelled’ by many woke institutions and led to her receiving death threats
Following the backlash, the college’s junior common room (JCR) committee switched the theme for the meal on Thursday to ‘Spooktober’. Committee members said this helped foster ‘a safe and inclusive environment which everyone can enjoy’.
Girton’s formal dinners are held in the college’s magnificent dining hall every Thursday during term time, with students wearing gowns.
Concerns were raised over the Harry Potter theme on an anonymous submissions page, Girthfessions, with one user calling the planned event ‘inherently transphobic’.
The committee of the JCR, the students’ union for undergraduates, initially apologised for any upset caused by association with Miss Rowling, according to the Varsity student newspaper.
But when the controversy continued the JCR said in an email to students that after ‘continued conversations with representatives of the affected communities and senior college staff’, it had decided to change the formal theme.
It hoped the move would ‘make everyone feel comfortable and safe enough to attend this very special night’.
Homerton College’s annual Hogwarts ‘formal’ dinner will not take place this year, with students claiming it is because of student union members’ views towards JK Rowling
The dinner is usually a sell-out event, with students and staff dressing in costume, house banners displayed for Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and even real owls from a local sanctuary swooping over the long tables
Robin Webber said the event was not taking place this year because the new modern dining hall ‘doesn’t really lend itself to a Harry Potter theme’
HUS President Robin Webber (pictured) has frequently tweeted his condemnation of the Harry Potter author, writing in June 2020: ‘F*** transphobia f*** jk Rowling f*** that energy’
In a 2021 discussion on Twitter, Mr Webber wrote: ‘I understand wanting to stick with Harry Potter, but you ARE supporting the artist who does real damage to the rights of trans people in the UK. I grew up very attached to Harry Potter so I understand the reluctance to let go but JK Rowling is dangerous to me’
Girton, founded in 1869, is the latest Cambridge college to disassociate itself from Miss Rowling. Homerton has scrapped its annual Harry Potter-themed dinner and replaced it with a film night dedicated to the boy wizard.
Miss Rowling’s position on women’s rights has seen her ‘cancelled’ by many woke institutions and led to her receiving death threats.
In June 2020, she was accused of transphobia when she mocked an article which had used the phrase ‘people who menstruate’, rather than women. Girton College declined to comment. The JCR has been contacted for comment.