Should creators be canceled for their personal opinions? According to two out of three Americans, the answer is a resounding “No.”

We asked 2,000 respondents from the general population about their past and present fandoms. 58% agreed with the premise that “It’s never OK to boycott an artist’s work based on their personal opinions.”
And while 61% acknowledged that it would significantly impact their enjoyment if a creator said something “reprehensible,” 68% believe it’s still possible to “separate the art from the artist.” 

The survey then narrowed in on past and present “Harry Potter” fans (about 24%, or one in four survey-takers) about their reactions to recent controversies within the franchise — including author J.K. Rowling’s vocal opposition to a bill that would allow transgender individuals to legally change their gender in Scotland.

Of those who participated in Pottermania, 70% (or 18% of respondents overall) said they would still actively identify themselves as Harry Potter fans to this day.

Even still, 71% said they care less about Harry Potter now than they used to at the height of their fandom.
When asked to explain the dropoff:

  • 42% said they’d reconsidered their relationship to the text after “learning about its more problematic elements”
  • 35% objected to author J.K. Rowling’s recent anti-transgender rhetoric
  • 36% also cited disinterest in newer franchise installments, like the “Fantastic Beasts” film series or the Broadway production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”
  • More than one in four (29%) simply “got too old for it”

Not surprisingly, certain “houses” – the in-universe Hogwarts dormitories that fans sorted themselves into based on their personality archetype – were more passionate about Potter than others

Those who self-identified as “brave” Gryffindors, among whose ranks included Harry Potter himself, were much more likely to identify themselves as active fans compared to the overall average (83% vs 70%).

Meanwhile, members of the stereotypically-villainous Slytherin house were far less interested in labels; one in four (24%) said they no longer call themselves HP fans at all, in fact, and half (52%) referred to the series as “problematic.”   

  1. Marvel - 26.5%
  2. Disney - 26.3%
  3. Harry Potter - 26.3%
  4. Game of Thrones - 25.8%
  5. Star Wars - 25.5%
  6. Lord of the Rings - 25.1%
  7. The Walking Dead - 24.5%
  8. Star Trek - 23.4%
  9. Twilight - 22.3%
  10. DC Comics - 22%

How good is your Harry Potter knowledge? Take our quick quiz.

This OnePoll general population online survey was conducted in April 2022, with 2,000 Americans.

As members of AAPOR – the American Association for Public Opinion Research, OnePoll researchers adhere to the principles and actions set out in the AAPOR Code.

Header photo credit: Artem Maltsev on Unsplash