'Harry Potter And The Cursed Child' Rejects Live Owls, J. K. Rowling Rejects Bigots

Susan Macdonald

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play that focuses on J. K. Rowling's young wizard Harry Potter as an adult, has announced that it will not be using live owls on stage. The New York Times has reported that a live owl flew across the stage during one of the previews. However, the show's producers have decided -- to the delight of British animal rights activists and doubtless the relief of the actors -- not to use live owls during the play.

"As part of this process, earlier this week the decision was made not to feature live owls in any aspect of the production moving forward."

"We contacted the play's director and production company … to explain that wild animals, such as owls, are not actors and should never be forced to perform. And we were delighted when they got back to us to say that they've decided not to use live owls in any future performances. This is a huge relief for all Harry Potter fans who care about animals. Owls are shy, sensitive and utterly unsuited to being put on display in a hot, noisy theatre, night after night. Treating them like props goes against every message of respect and kindness expressed in J. K. Rowling's much-loved books."
"We used to use owls, but the mess was unbelievable... droppings all over the desks."

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In addition to the owl problem, the play has had some complaints over the fact an African actress, Noma Dumezweni, has been cast as Hermione Granger. J. K. Rowling, known as the Queen of Twitter to her fans, has also been quick to scold those who have complained that Hermione Granger and her daughter, Rose Granger-Weasley, are played by Black actresses.

"I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione... must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with. But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm...Noma was chosen because she was the best actress for the job."

"I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine.

[Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images]