Pottermore staff laid off amid site reorganization


Pottermore has had to lay off some of its staff, due to reorganization. However, the staff leaving the site says there’s actually a vision issue for the site.

It seems like no job is safe now. Pottermore, which opened in 2012 and reorganized in 2015, has confirmed it’s laid off a number of staff members. The site claims this is due to another reorganization of the site, but the staff say that something else is to blame; and it could be casting of a certain high-profile actor in Fantastic Beasts.

Sure enough, the Harry Potter fandom has been hit with a number of controversial decisions. One of the biggest was the hiring of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts, who had been accused of domestic violence at the time. The staff at Pottermore found it extremely hard to write about the news and the character in a positive light because of the accusations and the backlash from the fans, which meant the articles on the site dwindled.

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J.K. Rowling defended her opinion to keep Depp around, which caused even more backlash.

However, staff members say that it’s not just due to the casting decision. The world of fan sites is changing. People want fresh pieces, especially when it comes to editorial pieces. Pottermore was the place for people to turn to for more Harry Potter articles and fun looks into the world. When the site changed its direction in 2015, it stopped offering everything the fans wanted and that led to them going elsewhere. Without the audience, Pottermore doesn’t need the editorial staff anymore.

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One former employee shared that the reorganization in 2015 could have been a good thing, but it was handled poorly;

"It’s essentially a glorified merchandise shop with some cute articles that might appeal to hardcore fans but don’t have enough of a point of difference from the rest of the internet’s writing about Harry Potter to survive."

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Pottermore hasn’t confirmed the number of job losses, but said that it was a “small number.” It’s not clear what this will mean for the site or the content yet. That will likely come in the next few days, as we see a change in output.