Influencers are calling out makeup brand ColourPop for moving forward with its 'Harry Potter' collab despite transphobic comments from author J.K. Rowling
- Makeup brand ColourPop teased their "Harry Potter" collaboration on September 2.
- The collab includes eyeliners, lipsticks, highlighters, and eyeshadow palettes inspired by the books.
Makeup and beauty influencers are criticizing makeup brand ColourPop after it announced a collaboration with children's book franchise "Harry Potter," whose author J.K. Rowling has come under fire in recent years for making transphobic comments.
The collection features eyeshadow palettes, eyeliners, highlighters, and lipsticks all inspired by the popular book series. Individual eyeshadow shades include "Dementor," "Slytherin," "Patronus," and other references that will be familiar to fans of "Harry Potter."
ColourPop launched the collection on September 8 amid widespread disapproval from beauty influencers.
TikTok star Chrissy Chlapecka, who has over five million followers, wrote that she was "disappointed" by the collection, a perspective that was echoed by makeup influencer Vanessa Funes. Fumes, whose known as @cutcreaser to her more than 300,000 Instagram followers, has often featured ColourPop products in her posts in the past.
"Very disappointed if yall are partnering with the harry potter license/franchise/IP - as it directly funds a very well known transphobe," she wrote on the brand's announcement.
Lilly Teel, a trans makeup artist with over 100,000 followers on TikTok, said she would no longer use ColourPop over its "Harry Potter" partnership. On her Twitter account, she wrote, "Bye ColourPop. Won't be using you anymore."
She told beauty and fashion publication Glossy that she felt "betrayed" by the brand, adding that its collaboration with a franchise that has been linked to transphobia made her feel like ColourPop's support for the LGBTQ+ community was simply a "marketing tool."
Teel added that the "beauty community" is a "safe space to many LGBTQ people," which is why she felt compelled to speak out about the collection.
—Lilly mf Teel✨ (@lillymuateel) September 7, 2022
Rowling initially came under fire in June 2020 for her tweets about the transgender community, as well as a lengthy op-ed on her website, in which she outlined her reasons for "being worried about the new trans activism" and called trans identity a "social contagion." She wrote that people were opening "doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman" and "offering cover to predators."
She received backlash from trans activists and "Harry Potter" fans. Her comments also led to "Harry Potter" actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne speaking out in support of trans people.
ColourPop did not directly address the "Potter" controversy, but in an Instagram Story on September 7 the brand said it would be donating to a group of LGBTQ-inclusive non-profits in observance of Suicide Awareness Month.
ColourPop wrote, "It is our continued commitment at ColourPop to always foster a community of acceptance, love, inclusivity, and support."
But the gesture didn't convince everyone.
Beauty blogger Christine Mielke, who runs the blog Temptalia and has over 200,000 Instagram followers, wrote a post about the collaboration and criticized ColourPop's response as "a fluffy bit of nothing."
Mielke also said she would not be reviewing the collection and donated the "all commission" earned from her affiliate codes on the ColourPop x "Harry Potter" collection to The Trevor Project.
A spokesperson for ColourPop told Glossy that they "deeply care about the LGBTQIA+ community" and that the collaboration was "requested (almost weekly!) for many years." They added that the partnership had been in the works for over two years.
"We didn't know what would happen in the world, and on Twitter, between the day we began investing in this collection and today. It has been a completely unprecedented few years," the spokesperson said.
Dozens of brands have collaborated with the "Potter" franchise in recent years, including Le Creuset, Pottery Barn, American Girl, Vera Bradley, Swarovski, and Casetify. CNBC previously valued the "Harry Potter" franchise at $25 billion.
ColourPop did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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