VANCOUVER – In an effort to assure his fans, advertisers, and the internet at large that he is not transphobic, Twitch star John Dalton made certain to make sad faces throughout today’s Hogwarts Legacy stream.
The open-world RPG video game has become a hot topic in the culture wars, with critics asserting that spending money on the Harry Potter universe is indirectly supporting its creator J.K Rowling, who in recent years has come under fire for a history of anti-trans comments. Still, many gaming enthusiasts, including Dalton, maintain that it is possible to balance their desire to support LGBTQIA+ causes while also being allowed to play a theoretically fun game – namely through making unhappy facial gestures that indicate a seeming disapproval of Rowling’s politics.
“I just think it’s important to separate the art from the artist, which I believe my sad frown clearly achieves,” noted Dalton. “If I can’t enjoy a middling video game based on an outdated children’s book written by a billionaire transphobe… then what does it mean for free speech in this country?”
“Besides, just because I’m playing the game with a performatively sad facial demeanour doesn’t mean I agree with its creator,” Dalton added. “For example, Kanye has some great beats, but it doesn’t mean I support him as a person just because he’s my number-one artist on Spotify, you know?”
Social media commentators have pointed out that if Dalton wanted to play the game so badly, he could have skipped the sad face and played so in private and without streaming it to his thousands of subscribers. They also noted the literally hundreds of other RPGs, many much better-reviewed, that he could have purchased instead of sadly playing Hogwarts Legacy. Dalton disagrees.
“I don’t know what those sensitive nerds have such a problem with. I made a sad face the whole time I was playing to show that I support the BLTQ plus community. It’s almost like they don’t actually want people to be allies, or enjoy sick new games.”
At press time, Dalton wished to emphasize that he has absolutely no ethical compunctions about any of Hogwarts Legacy’s antisemitism.