Been bothered by any interesting protest groups recently? Frankly,
we're getting a bit bored with hearing about animal or human rights
groups, so it amused us greatly to hear about Warner Bros. being raked
over the coals by ... witches.
It seems the trouble is the broomstick-riding style of a certain Harry
Potter. Perhaps you've heard of the lad? Well, in the preview to the
Chris Columbus movie due out November 16, one of the apprentice wizards
is shown riding his broomstick with - shock! horror! - the brush at the
As any card-carrying Wiccan knows, proper broomstick riding is done with
the brush at the front.
Interestingly, the British White Witches, the group less than charmed by
the broomstick gaffe, says the error is not an uncommon one, citing the
1960s and 1970s television program Bewitched as another example of a
mistaken brush-backward broomstick.
When challenged to display proper broomstick flying techniques by
Reuters News, however, high priest Kevin Carlyon said his three
broomsticks were grounded because he couldn't get flight permits from
the British Civil Aviation Authority.
Besides their own experience, the British witches insist that 16th- and
17th-century woodcuts show broomsticks being ridden with the brush at
No word from Madame Hooch, Harry's teacher (played by British actress
Zoe Wannamaker), who shows the wizard-in-training how to use the
broomstick for the first time. Warner Bros.' PR wizards were similarly
mum, no doubt hoping this latest outburst can quietly, but quickly fly