Harry Potter Alliance Comes of Age: ‘Not in Harry’s Name’

Some of the best conversations I have been part of at Harry Potter conventions the past few years have been with Andrew Slack, the head of the Harry Potter Alliance, and Travis Prinzi, author and fellow Potter Pundit, on the spiritual dimensions of the Hogwarts Saga. The details of these exchanges are all over the map but the insights and engagements of Messrs Prinzi and Slack have stretched most of my ideas of how to understand our favorite boy wizard’s adventures.

As much as I enjoy Mr. Slack’s company and admire the intentions of his Harry Potter Alliance’s book drives among other things, however, I haven’t been a big fan of the giants they labored to slay or admired the way they chose to demonize folks who disagree with them.

I was delighted, consequently, to learn that HPA has decided to “speak truth to power” to a foe that not only lives in the Harry Potter fandom house, but one that you could say owns the house fandom lives in, namely, Warner Brothers. This is a Goliath that could conceivably hurt the Alliance and its leaders.

I have been told by a reliable source, for example, that Warner Brothers has forbidden a notable Potter Pundit from visiting the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida. No big deal? Probably not; I’m guessing said Pundit could sneak in if s/he really wanted to. I mention it only to point out that the Big Kahuna is not above petty attacks to clarify who is part of the “in crowd” and who is on the outs with the power holders.

Forgive me again for thinking that this sort of thing matters to many of HPA’s membership and leadership. Hence my delight that they have taken a stand regarding the Chocolate used in making Chocolate Frogs that are sold at the Wizarding World theme park. It’s a principled stand for those who cannot defend themselves, children sold into slavery to pick cocoa, and a stand against a corporation that holds the biggest cookie jar.

I take my hat off, consequently, to Mr. Slack and the Alliance; I encourage everyone to buy the Fair trade Chocolate Frogs they are selling (at risk of inviting a copyright suit?) and to send a video Howler to Warner Brothers as the Alliance suggests. I’m not at all sure or even hopeful that this will sway the Warner Wizards one way or the other; I do want to encourage and support the Alliance in their principled stand against a powerful adversary. Three Cheers and my best wishes!


  1. I share the leeriness about some of the, well all of the causes really that HPA has promoted in the past. But they do have to be commended on this one. We know WB and even Rowling herself aren’t adverse to playing hardball even against major players in the Potter fandom.

  2. One thing I have against the HPA is that while some of the causes they promote are admirable their attitude of “if you’re not for us, you’re against us” is a bit off putting to me. Just my two cents.

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