Author JK Rowling has said she does not feel that she has been ‘cancelled’ after criticism of her trans views. The author’s views on gender ideology, expressed in a number of controversial tweets, have led to a significant public backlash, as well as criticism from Harry Potter stars such as Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
However, in an interview for Letters from Suzanne, a Substack publication by writer and columnist Suzanne Moore, the author said: ‘The only time I’ve ever made reference to being cancelled, my book sales went up.
‘Why am I even laughing? I can’t believe I’m saying these words. But you have to mock them. I do not consider myself cancelled. ‘It comes as Ms Rowling announced she will fund a new women-only service for victims of sexual violence. The Harry Potter creator, 57, has founded and will pay for an Edinburgh-based centre called Beira’s Place.
Ms Rowling made the announcement days before a controversial Gender Bill hits the Scottish Parliament. Nicola Sturgeon’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill has come under fire because it is feared predatory men will exploit it to pose as females and abuse their rights. The public backlash against the author’s views started in March 2018, when Ms Rowling was criticised for liking a tweet which referred to trans women as ‘men in dresses’. After the news was picked up by a number of major media outlets, some took to vent their anger online.
In a statement to Newsweek, Ms Rowling’s spokesperson said: ‘It was a mistake. ‘I’m afraid JK Rowling had a clumsy and middle-aged moment and this is not the first time she has favourited by holding her phone incorrectly! ‘In September 2020, Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid in the film series and passed away in October 2022, defended Ms Rowling.
Mr Coltrane told Radio Times: ‘I don’t think what she said was offensive, really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended. ‘They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight, and carry on.’ He continued: ‘I don’t want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail.’
Helena Bonham Carter, 56, who played Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films, took to Ms Rowling’s defence in a November 2022 interview with The Sunday Times Magazine. The actress said: ‘I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. ‘Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma, and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything—that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.’