JK Rowling reflects on trans controversy and backlash from Harry Potter fans
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JK Rowling is reflecting on the backlash stemming from her controversial comments about the trans community, admitting that she has ‘been scared at times for my safety’.
The Harry Potter creator has made headlines in the last three years after she took to social media in 2020 to criticise an article’s use of the phrase ‘people who menstruate’.
The best-selling author has since been called out for her follow-up comments and statements which are widely regarded as anti-trans by Harry Potter fans and campaigners alike.
Commentators have also dubbed the 57-year-old a TERF, which is an an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist and refers to a feminist who excludes the rights of transgender women.
In the new episode of the podcast The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, the author shared her thoughts about the controversy surrounding her comments.
Although she does not regret her actions, she admitted to feeling ‘scared’ during the backlash from fans.
She said: “I absolutely knew that if I spoke out many people who had loved my books would be deeply unhappy with me. I knew that.
"I knew because I could see that they believed they were living the values that I espoused in those books. I could tell they believed they were fighting for underdog and difference and fairness.
“And I thought it would be easier not to, you know, that this could be really bad. And honestly it has been bad. Personally, it has not been fun.
"And I have been scared at times for my safety and overwhelmingly for my family’s safety.”
The mum-of-three said she has listened to ‘the other side’ but seemingly doubled-down on her past comments by sharing that ‘there is something dangerous about this movement’ and it ‘must be challenged’.
She went on: "Time will tell whether I’ve got this wrong. I can only say that I’ve thought about it deeply and hard and long and I’ve listened, I promise, to the other side. And I believe absolutely that there is something dangerous about this movement and it must be challenged."
She also claimed that lots of Potterheads have shown her support.
She continued: “But at the same time, I have to tell you, a ton of Potter fans were still with me. And in fact, a ton of Potter fans were grateful that I’d said what I said.
Harry Potter cast members including Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint have responded to Rowling’s comments by showing their support to the trans community.