Completely unrelated to Felton’s aversion, the portrayal of goblins in the Harry Potter films has been a subject of controversy in recent years, especially as author J.K. Rowling continues to attract negative attention for her views on transgender people. In the midst of the debate about Rowling’s potential transphobia in December 2019, writer Max Curtis brought up another salient point: how similar the portrayal of goblins in the Potter films is to historic anti-Semitic imagery. “In Harry Potter the greedy, hook-nosed monsters are bankers. In Fantastic Beasts, they have Jewish actor Ron Perlman play a 1920s Jewish gangster… related to bankers,” he tweeted.
Rowling has also been criticized in the past for her depiction of house elves as being an enslaved group who, aside from Dobby, enjoyed their lives of servitude and lack of autonomy. In fact, Hermione Granger was portrayed as being misguided at best and annoying at worst when she embarked on a mission to help liberate the house elves, a take which isn’t exactly in line with the series’ message that magical racism is wrong, as The Guardian pointed out in a 2015 op-ed. With the number of problematic aspects in the Potter series, it’s no wonder that some fans may find themselves conflicted (via Independent) when it comes to the decision of whether or not to buy or play Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming open-world game based in the Harry Potter universe.