JK Rowling sued a kids’ website for talking about cancel culture & her transphobia

2017 BAFTA Awards - Arrivals

J.K. Rowling is on one of the craziest trips I’ve ever seen. She will not let any of this go – she will spread her deeply offensive transphobia far and wide and if anyone dares to criticize her, she will bitch and moan about “cancel culture” and make a hundred prominent intellectuals sign an open letter bemoaning cancel culture. When all that is done, she’ll sue a children’s website for suggesting that she is, in fact, transphobic. This is what happened in the UK, when The Day (literally an educational website for kids) began a debate online about the separation of art and the artist, i.e. can we still enjoy the art even if an artist has said and done deplorable things? This is a great open debate for kids and adults, and it’s a debate we have culturally all the time. And Rowling canceled the cultural debate. Cancel culture, thy name is Jo Rowling.

A news website aimed at British schoolchildren has agreed to pay an unsubstantiated amount after it implied that JK Rowling’s comments on gender caused harm to trans people. The Day, which is recommended by the Department for Education and is designed to prompt teenagers to discuss current affairs, faced legal action from the Harry Potter author after publishing an article entitled: “Potterheads cancel Rowling after trans tweet”.

In the article, which some schools issued as homework, children were told that Rowling had objected to the use of the expression “people who menstruate” in place of “women”. It also referenced objections to Rowling’s recent comments from Harry Potter actors such as Daniel Radcliffe. The original article in the Day asked teenagers to consider whether it is possible still to enjoy great works of art by “deeply unpleasant people” such as Pablo Picasso and Richard Wagner. It said: “Since the 1950s, the civil rights movement has used boycotts to take money and status away from people and organisations harming minorities and shame them into change [sic] their behaviour. Online it is often called ‘cancelling’.”

The Day, which was founded and is run by the former Daily Express editor Richard Addis and is sold through subscriptions to around 1,500 schools, has now apologised after Rowling hired libel lawyers. The Day said: “We accept that our article implied that what JK Rowling had tweeted was objectionable and that she had attacked and harmed trans people. The article was critical of JK Rowling personally and suggested that our readers should boycott her work and shame her into changing her behaviour. Our intention was to provoke debate on a complex topic.

“We did not intend to suggest that JK Rowling was transphobic or that she should be boycotted. We accept that our comparisons of JK Rowling to people such as Picasso, who celebrated sexual violence, and Wagner, who was praised by the Nazis for his antisemitic and racist views, were clumsy, offensive and wrong. Debate about a complex issue where there is a range of legitimate views should have been handled with much more sensitivity and more obvious recognition of the difference between fact and opinion. We unreservedly apologise to JK Rowling for the offence caused, are happy to retract these false allegations and to set the record straight. We shall be making a financial contribution to a charity of JK Rowling’s choice.”

[From The Guardian]

It’s just… whew. Wow, where to start? If JK Rowling and all of those intellectuals want to make a big fuss about free speech (which they believe is freedom from consequences, but whatever) and how in a free society, there should be a free exchange of ideas without anyone getting canceled or censored, you would think that at least one of those signees would stand up for an educational kids’ website which was trying to spur debate about freedom of expression, the nature of art, and whether a society should separate art from artist. But I guess not. I guess we’re all going to sit back and watch a litigious billionaire transphobe bully a kids’ website just because they insinuated that she’s a transphobic bully (which she is).

(Plus, there’s a delicious Streisand Effect happening – because The Day apologized so thoroughly and so publicly, now their website and content is getting a wider audience and more people are paying attention to how awful Rowling is.)

J K Rowling at arrivals for 51st Annual...

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53 Responses to “JK Rowling sued a kids’ website for talking about cancel culture & her transphobia”

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  1. Tanguerita says:

    She is thoroughly disgusting. I always feel the urge to take a shower after reading about her.

  2. Chaine says:

    Between this and her support for Johnny Depp, she has turned out to be such a dreadful person.

    • AnnaKist says:

      You said it, Chaine. Wow. Where once she seemed to be universally loved, she now couldn’t be more awful. OK, yes, she could. Like Nonna always said, “Eventually, every knot gets caught in the comb.”

    • Eugh says:

      I don’t understand this at all. It seems like her entire TERF-y “logic” stems from her experience with domestic abuse, yet she supports an abuser

    • Bread and Circuses says:

      Supporting Depp was the first crack in the veneer. I always had a lot of respect for the amount of charity work she did and how she spoke out about what it’s like to live in desperate poverty.

      But then she supported Depp. And then she became this raging, entitled transphobe who writes really nasty crime fiction (which is supposed to be really nasty, of course, but it makes you wonder about what her head’s full of these days).

  3. Mich says:

    Her hypocrisy is amazing. She claims she is a anti-trans because cis women need to be protected. But she also goes to the mat for drunk abuser Johnny Depp.

    All of the elite ‘intellectuals’ behind the Harper’s letter are pieces of work. What they really mean is that they are above criticism and us normal people must support them (and give them money) regardless of how we feel about them. They get to insult and demean anyone they want – especially the most vulnerable in society – and we all have to applaud them for doing it.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Hypocrisy isn’t very uncommon in trad TERF circles- the regularly enabling (or actively participating in) the abuse of those they claim to protect or represent, or calling themselves radical while consistently playing into conservative agendas. One TERF a couple of years ago even patted herself on the back for being willing to speak politely with Milo Yiannopolos and praised him because “at least he listens” to her, unlike those intersectional people. The right’s embrace of her and those like her should have been a red flag. The calm kindness she and her followers showed him is nothing like the cruel way they treat liberal trans women, or marginalized cis liberal women who are truthful about the harm their ‘radical feminism’ does.

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Yes. Exactly that Kaiser. Why can these ‘people’ say offensive things, scream about the right say offensive things and then litigiously attack everyone else who dares to discuss said offensive things? My gawd. So this educational children’s news site is being sued because they’re talking about offensive things said publicly by this……monster who’s not really a woman. I’ll never call her a woman again.

  5. Frizzy says:

    Have a trans niece who is struggling, people like jk just don’t understand how hurtful this all is, especially the accusations about transwomen bullying cis lesbians about sex and the bathroom “women’s spaces” stuff.

    At some level it isn’t political it’s hurtful. I don’t know why people lose their minds about transgender people. I’m middle age and didn’t grow up with any out trans, so it took a little reading and learning and I wish jk would realize she’s stomped over a human rights issue over dumb things like “people who menstruate”.

  6. Deanne says:

    She’s such a self righteous bitch. I though that I couldn’t hate her more than I already do, but then she goes and does this.

  7. Tanya says:

    Wow, Her descent into cartoon villainy has certainly been swift.

  8. Sarah says:

    So…the person who thinks she can say whatever she wants with a sense or moral superiority and impunity doesn’t like it when people call her on her shit? Sounds about right.

    • lola says:

      Yup. And she’s one of many who think that way.
      This reminds me of a German right winged politician who complained about political correctness and wanted it gone, and a satire show said something like “she’s right, the nazi s**t” and she sued them but the court decided that they can call her that since she can’t cry for the end of PC but then want it for herself.

    • uninspired username says:

      That’s in line with most of these freeze peach “champions.”

  9. Elizabeth says:

    I am shocked the laws don’t protect a free debate. Plus, her words do cause demonstrable harm. This is pretty disgusting!

  10. Snazzy says:

    In case we forgot that those who are out there writing op-eds and letters bemoaning cancel culture as the death of freedom of speech are the same ones that curtail free speech when it goes against their interests by using their wealth and influence. I am so disappointed.

  11. lucy2 says:

    Wow, she has turned out to be a pretty terrible person overall. And she just keeps making it worse.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      if she wants to die on this hill, that’s her choice, but I am also shocked that she hasn’t read the room and realized that she should SHUT UP if she wants to retain any of her fans.

      most of the REALLY HUGE Potter fans I know have pretty much abandoned her.

  12. Annie says:

    To say that I’m devastated by the person she has become is an understatement. All these bigoted free speech warriors are so quiet when the police puts protesters in vans and takes them away God knows where. They stayed pretty quiet when the police blinded protesters during BLM. That’s a violation of free speech. You losing fans because you’re a bigot is not a violation of your rights. You just can’t be a bigot without facing backlash anymore. Nobody’s actually cancelling you; you’re being called out. Nobody’s above reproach. Boycotting companies and artists who no longer share your values is also free speech and the only power consumers have.

    Every time Ricky Gervais goes on his pompous rants about free speech I just want to ask him if he really feels oppressed just because he can’t make fun of gays or trans without facing backlash. Ricky is deeply transphobic too. I just want to post one of the horrifying videos from Portland and ask him why is he quiet about that if it’s a violation of the first amendment. The government cannot incarcerate you for protesting.

    • Lizzieb says:

      @annie. Am not American but from what I understand the right to criticize government is the very reason for free speech. Before that it would have been treason. It’s not so a windbag is not criticized for their comments.

      • SomeChick says:

        That’s exactly right, Lizzieb. The first amendment guarantees that the US Guv cannot punish speech, with very few exceptions (the classic example is shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater).

        Free speech does not mean freedom from consequences. It doesn’t even mean that a business establishment can’t kick you out for things like profanity (or make you turn your edgelord tshirt inside out). It certainly doesn’t mean that anyone deserves a platform for whatever they want to say. It just means that you can’t be sent to jail for criticizing the government. That’s it!

  13. My3cents says:

    My trans child is so crestfallen with her. The Potter books had such a big role in their childhood, and that’s gone.

    • aang says:

      I’m a mom to a trans kid too. We loved Harry Potter as a family. Read the books, went to the releases, visited Universal, have the costumes. Now it is ruined.

      • Otaku fairy says:

        I’m really sorry both you and Frizzy have young relatives growing up with the painful experience of seeing their oppression being pushed by too many as ‘pro-gay’ and ‘pro-woman’. Feminism does have its dark side, no question. On the one hand, it’s sad that these bigots don’t think about gay people or women caring for people from the group they’re targeting, but on the other hand that shouldn’t even be what it takes for them to care about trans people.

  14. Lady D says:

    What a douche.

  15. Celia456 says:

    All this. Plus, she’s demonstrably wrong about “people who menstruate.” Lots of women don’t menstruate: some sick or underweight women, most pregnant women, some female athletes, and—a group she’s probably part of—menopausal women. So she’s wrong in fact and intent.
    It’s like she’s determined to be hated.

    • SaintMarci😇 says:

      Yes! I went through menopause in my 30s and I’m pretty darn sure I’m still a woman in spite of having no period for 25 years now

    • Kumquat says:

      My understanding was that JK was actually mocking the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” in a headline.


      Plz don’t think this is a defense of her. I just know the ladies here like to be on-point w their info.

      • Celia456 says:

        @Kumqat Thanks for the correction! I’m a little disappointed tbh 😆 but appreciate having the right info

      • Margles says:

        Yeah. She was claiming they should have said “women” instead of “people who menstruate.” Which is moronic of her since not all people who menstruate are women (some of them are, for example, teenage girls).

      • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

        Transmen and non-binary people often have uteruses, menstruate, and need reproductive care– and they are not “women.”

        This turns into a very hot issue because a lot of insurance companies will *not8 cover reproductive medicine or paper smears etc. if you are listed as “M,” even if you still have a uterus, cervix, etc.

        Its brutal and people’s lives are at stake. “People who menstruate” is simply a way to a fair and inclusive. And she is shitting on that.

  16. uninspired username says:

    What a champion of freeze peach.

  17. emmy says:

    She’s a d*ck.

  18. msd says:

    That letter has turned out to be the 2020 version of ‘We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.’ So many signatories have turned out to be thin-skinned bullies trying to ‘cancel’ others. Surprise, surprise.

    There’s actually a serious discussion to be had about the poor quality of public discourse, polarisation, social media etc. but that foolish, out of touch, disingenuous letter by self-proclaimed intellectuals wasn’t it. Meanwhile, everyday people are just trying not to starve or get killed or beaten up…

    Rowling seems obsessed. I wonder where that obsession comes from? It’s offensive and hurtful yes, but it’s also downright weird. Ego and stubbornness alone doesn’t explain it, to me at least.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I agree it’s weird. There’s definitely an intense transphobic movement afoot among some prominent white UK personalities. It really makes no sense because rights for trans people don’t affect them at all. My personal suspicion is that transphobic narratives are possibly being amplified in the UK by Russian trolls/bots as a means to sow division, much like how they are working to amplify division within the US around race. Rowling has just gone down the rabbit hole that has nothing to do with her & is destroying her reputation.

  19. Imogene says:

    She is despicable and I just cannot for the life of me understand why she is deciding to die on this hill. Just keep your mouth shut if it bothers you so much that trans women are women? But I am also thankful we get to see what a shit person she is so we can spend our dollars accordingly. However, I realize that is a very privileged thing for me to say, though, because I will never feel the damage of these words and actions as someone who isn’t trans.

  20. Musgrave says:

    She’s done so much for charity. She has never been hateful. I wish she hadn’t sued them. Off to buy a set of her books!

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      She is LITERALLY being hateful about transpeople. Transwomen specifically. She is a supporter and proponent of conversion therapy. Sounds pretty hateful to me.

      • Abby says:

        She said that if sex isn’t real, same-sex attraction isn’t real. She was defending gay people from conversion therapy there.

    • Elizabeth says:

      She’s never been hateful? She’s repeated the worst stereotypes of transgender people and attacked their few rights. Just because she or you want to cloak that in feminism doesn’t mean it isn’t hateful bigotry toward a hugely vulnerable group.

    • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

      Her words are extraordinarily hateful and harmful to trans people, especially trans youth. Jesus, you support this?

    • Lady D says:

      She’s harming children. She’s contemptible, as is anyone who attacks children.

    • Kkat says:

      She supports conversion therapy,you literally can’t get more hurtful, hateful or abusive than that. Conversion therapy is extreme mental and physical abuse

  21. Miss b says:

    Every time I think she’ll hit bottom, she keeps going lower. She IS transphobic. It IS important to discuss how and if we can separate art from artist. But I guess when you’re a billionaire you don’t have to grapple with any of that 🤬

  22. Valiantly Varnished says:

    What kind of libel laws exist in the UK that she would be able to sue for something like that??

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      Exactly! And yet the Duchess of Sussex was abused and degraded in every possible manner for three years and has only a very limited lawsuit. Is anyone familiar enough with English libel law to explain this? Or is that Rowling’s strategy is to crush them by simply outspending them?

    • Arralethe says:

      It’s not so much a question of the law and whether she’d win, and more a question of cost to the defendant. All the steps to pre-trial (and there are a lot) cost money to carry out, and it seems this little outfit doesn’t have the funds to go through all that. In comparison, JKR can throw a lot of money around via lawyers.

      It comes down to a cost/benefit analysis, and it would certainly cost less to apologise and pay a sum to charity than to defend a case.

      Whether JK would win if it came to court is pretty much an entirely different question.

  23. Valerie says:

    She is so terrible. I wish she’d just shut her trap.

  24. msd says:

    Yes, I’ve noticed transphobic feminism seems to be more prominent in Britain than the US, not so much with young women but definitely with white women of a certain age. I don’t think it’s amplified by Russian bots, though. Intersectionality just doesn’t seem to have gained as much ground culturally? The Guardian, for example, has old guard columnists that put forward a ‘TERF’ viewpoint of needing to protect cis women in a way a left-leaning newspaper in the US would never do. I basically align with that publication’s politics but I’m always a bit shocked when I read some of their established female writers views on transgender rights. It’s like they never developed past 1970s feminism.

    • Crumpets and Crotchshots says:

      I would like to hear more about this from someone on the ground so to speak in Britain.

      One reason this doesn’t fly in the US is that people recognize the rhetoric from ultra-right evangelical groups, the Moral Majority, the Eagle Forum etc. We’ve heard the bathroom arguments which sabotaged the ERA, and we know better now. We also know that biological essentialist argument will ultimately sabotage reproductive rights. We are seeing it in action here, right now. Defining women by their body parts or biological functions is ultimately misogynistic.

      I have also noticed that this shit doesn’t fly in Ireland because we all recognize the colonialism that underlies this brand of so-called feminism. It’s racist and classist and all about all about enshrining the delicate and fragile white womanhood that must be “protected” for its own good. We have already suffered because of this and know where it leads. We know there is nothing feminist about this.

      So I want to know: why o why do British feminists fall for this? I’d love to know. Do they not notice that when their own TERF activists visit the US, they spend their time at the Heritage Foundation and among white supremacists? Seriously, it is this messed up.