Why Franchises Need to Outgrow Their Creators

People are going to believe what they want, that’s a fact that’s been proven time and time again over the years. And people are going to see and hear what they want as well, no matter what is being said or shown. The court of public opinion is a particularly vicious one that doesn’t show a lot of forgiveness to those that speak their mind at times, and because of this, and other factors, it would appear that the Harry Potter universe, and the fans, are looking to move beyond J.K. Rowling and hope for something greater than what she created to continue. There’s a problem with this, even though it’s necessary at times. When the creation gets bigger than the creator it’s actually more natural than people might think. Once the creation takes on a life of its own and the creator no longer has full control of it and has to step back, then it’s time to start thinking about what will come next. The Harry Potter stories managed to escape Rowling’s control a while ago, but now, people are trying to leave her behind for other reasons. 

Her transgender comments are without a doubt one of the biggest reasons that many people would cite for distancing themselves from her, and it would make a lot of fans and stars, who have all pitched in to vilify Rowling more than once, some of the biggest ingrates in the world, not to mention the biggest hypocrites. It’s not the first time such a thing has happened, and it likely won’t be the last. Those that have created excellent stories, movies, and various other wonders have been vilified for a number of reasons even while people continually enjoy their creations. While Rowling hasn’t covered herself with glory by walking back her statements or explaining them further, it wouldn’t matter. The public has taken what they wanted from her words and has used them to batter her name over and over. Many might even strike her name from the franchise entirely if they were able to do so. 

That’s not bound to happen. Rowling might very well step back and admit that the Potterverse needs to go on without her, but so long as she holds the copyright to the characters, she’ll be a part of this franchise no matter what. And like it or not, her name will always be associated with the Potterverse since whether people want to say with distaste or the simplicity it deserves, she created this world. That’s why the actors and the fans, though secure and rightfully so in their opinions, are still ungrateful, since without this world a lot of them might have found it harder to break into the acting world with roles that might have been as iconic or beloved. But there is a need to see Rowling step into the background at this time, much as other authors have done with their creations over the years. Once the creation grows big enough and starts to outpace the creator, then it’s time to step back rather than hold on with everything they have. Much like a child, the only this that will happen if the creator holds on for dear life is that the story will be denied the type of growth it really needs. 

There are dangers and risks to such a process, however, since every story will go through growing pains once it’s no longer in the hands of its creator, much as has been seen with the Star Wars franchise once it was bought up by Disney. The mere fact that Universal appears ready to ditch Rowling and push forward is an indication that public opinion is strong enough to affect their bottom line and that like pretty much anyone and everyone, they’re going to be swayed by that same opinion since if they don’t, it’s bound to hurt their wallets more than their feelings. It’s easy to be cynical about this matter when one understands the creative process and sees how easily a story can slip away from the creator in one way or another. But the necessity of this is easy for those that are promoting the separation to take advantage of, especially when they possess a team of writers that can take over where the original author might have left off. 

In other words, Universal Studios likely already had designs on taking over after a while and either buying or pushing Rowling out, and the fact that she unwittingly gave them the ammunition they needed to sway public opinion on the matter isn’t exactly shady, but it is extremely opportunistic. It’s not necessarily evil, nor even corrupt, but it is a bit saddening when a creator loses control of something they worked so hard on. It hasn’t happened to Rowling yet on a large scale, but one can guess that it’s coming. 


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