The USPS is slammed for putting J.K. Rowling's characters on postage stamps because they are not part of American history.
United States Postal Service has released a series of Harry Potter-themed stamps, collaborating with Warner Bros. who owns the film rights to J.K. Rowling's famous story. Unfortunately, it was met with criticisms including from some members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee.
For 56 years, the group has done researches to give USPS recommendation on the subjects for new stamps. And now, according to the Washington Post, people in the panel are unhappy after the Postal Service didn't consult the committee in its decision to run the Potter stamps.
"Harry Potter is not American. It's foreign, and it's so blatantly commercial it's off the charts," says John Hotchner, a former president of the American Philatelic Society. "The Postal Service knows what will sell, but that's not what stamps ought to be about. Things that don't sell so well are part of the American story."
Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, meanwhile, insists the USPS "needs to change its focus toward stamps that are more commercial," after stamp sales continue to drop as Americans switch to the Internet.
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) as well as other heroes, villains and memorable creatures from Rowling's wizarding world are immortalized on "forever" postage stamps.
"From improbable heroes and magical creatures to schoolroom antics and daring battles, the majestic Harry Potter stamps will inspire fans of all ages," said USPS chairman Mickey Barnett in a statement.
A 20-stamp souvenir booklet featuring stills from the award-winning Warner Bros. movies are also issued. The folded booklet has five pages. The front cover features an image of Harry playing Quidditch, and the back cover has a picture of a young Harry in class, taking notes with his quill.