Warner Bros. has stood by J.K. Rowling after an external PR, acting on behalf of the studio, told Sky News that the company is “not connected” to the author.
The studio issued the response following a spat between Sky News and the PR, who blocked the outlet from asking Harry Potter actor Tom Felton about Rowling during a press event in London last week.
Felton was taking part in an event around the expansion of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter attraction. The actor, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise, unveiled Professor Sprout’s Greenhouse, a fan favorite set from the films, which will be a permanent addition to the attraction.
In an interview, a Sky News reporter asked Felton about Rowling, who has faced backlash for comments about the trans community, and who was notably absent from “Return to Hogwarts,” the HBO Max documentary special marking the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter.
“You and the other stars of the film are still very much the face of the franchise, if you like. We speak to you and hear from you guys… J.K. obviously has sort of more of a back seat now. Is it strange for her not being around at things like this?”
At this point, an external PR executive hired for the event, who is not a Warner Bros. employee, cut in and said: “Next question please.”
When Sky News later asked the third-party PR why their journalist was interrupted, the outlet received an email response stating: “J.K. Rowling is not connected to Warner or Tom Felton, the team felt it was not relevant to the piece.”
In a statement shared with Variety, Warner Bros. stood by its long-standing relationship with Rowling.
“Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years. She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters and stories to life now — and for decades to come. On Monday, a statement was issued by a third-party media agency that appeared contrary to this view. The statement was wholly wrong, and Warner Bros. Studio Tour London regrets it happened as part of a media event that day.”
The greenhouse expansion opens at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter on July 1, and is part of a new feature titled “Mandrakes and Magical Creatures,” which will run through Sept. 12.
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