J.K. Rowling is no stranger to causing controversy online. From her bizarre revelations about the Wizarding World on Pottermore to her divisive support for Johnny Depp’s casting as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts films, the Harry Potter author seems to inadvertently whip up a social media storm with her Twitter behavior on a semi-regular basis.
It’s happened again in the past week, too. Last December, Rowling threw support behind a woman who was fired for espousing anti-trans views. Many felt that this exposed the writer’s own opinions, something backed up by accounts she followed and tweets she’d liked. For instance, on May 15th, Rowling liked a strongly-worded tweet – to put it mildly – from Fred Sargeant, a trans-exclusionary gay activist.
— Fred Sargeant (@FredSargeant) May 15, 2020
As you can imagine, Rowling liking what many consider to be a highly offensive tweet has caused a new wave of posts from fans who are disappointed in the author for using her platform to spread this kind of message.
JK Rowling, why are you driving a transphobic and racist movement whenever you get an opportunity?
— heroi do olimpo (@nicoanjo) May 21, 2020
Woke up and read that @jk_rowling isn’t even attempting to hide her anti-trans views anymore. Can’t believe a person who has “championed” tolerance is actually a bigot. Sad.
— Layton Bell (@spiritushex) May 18, 2020
I really wish that someone non-transphobic wrote Harry Potter
— lydia ? (@lydblogs) May 18, 2020
We tried so very hard to give @jk_rowling the benefit of doubt that she harbors anti-trans sentiment, but it's just not possible when she amplifies it with likes & RTs.
We thought the Maya Forstater fallout in Dec. might have changed things but no.
Where do we go from here? pic.twitter.com/SJxtnC4bM5
— Wizarding News™ ? (@HPANA) May 18, 2020
This is the fucking moron that J.K. Rowling tweeted in support of.
Are we all clear she’s a bigot now? https://t.co/Gs3nlS0Cvt
— ? Caitlin ‘Her Vajesty’ Spice ? (@CateSpice) May 22, 2020
daily reminder that J.K. Rowling is a transphobic bigot ? https://t.co/oUa55rsZWj
— hayley st. james ?️? PRIDE PLAYS ?☀️ (@hayleystjames) May 17, 2020
It can only get worse from here, thought some.
May 2020: JK Rowling likes transphobic tweets and follows increasingly transphobic accounts
Aug 2020: JK calls trans women ’a danger in women’s spaces’
Nov 2020: Openly shits on Trans Day of Remembrance
Feb 2021: Starts calling trans women ‘mudbloods’
— ? Caitlin ‘Her Vajesty’ Spice ? (@CateSpice) May 21, 2020
A troubling passage from Rowling’s 2014 novel The Silkworm was once again doing the rounds following this incident.
If you think JK Rowling's transphobia is new The Slikworm was written in 2014. pic.twitter.com/oGJ40zfwEH
— dyke ⚢ (@radicalsapphic) May 21, 2020
On a lighter note, others are still stuck on that weird revelation about Hogwarts’ lack of bathrooms.
haven’t yet processed “JK Rowling is against trans people participating in society” because I’m still stuck on “JK Rowling said wizards didn’t have bathrooms, historically”
— Ennis R. Bashe (@EnnisRookBashe) May 22, 2020
Let’s all agree that Hermione Granger would not support her creator on this.
she’s getting ready to fight j.k. rowling pic.twitter.com/alIQBvQnIi
— emi (@dracofiIms) May 22, 2020
There might be more support for Depp these days, given further details that have come out against Amber Heard, so some may be behind her backing the actor, but Rowling’s apparent transphobic views are unlikely to be forgiven any time soon. Like the tweet above reminds us, though, her creations stand apart from the author, so we can still enjoy the Wizarding World without condoning Rowling’s opinions.
To end on something happier, then, you can watch a variety of stars reading chapters of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone during lockdown every Tuesday.