Oh dear. There seems to be something of an ongoing campaign against JK Rowling at the moment. The Harry Potter writer has dared to continue speaking out about her views on sex and gender in recent months, earning the ire of the Twitter mob in the process.
Despite incidents – like her credit being downsized to being barely visible in the trailer for the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel – the writer retains her popularity with fans, something the Guardian discovered when it asked its readers 'Tell us: who is your 2021 Person of the Year?'
An online social media campaign swiftly ensured to put Rowling's name forward, with supporters writing on the submission form their reasons for why she ought to be 'Person of the Year.' Subsequently, the Guardian closed all entries and suddenly deactivated its submission form.
Could it be because right-on hacks wanted to be spared the embarrassment of giving such publicity to Britain's most famous living writer? Graun hacks themselves have strong views on this issue – as Mr S has reported previously in 2021.
A false alarm, it seems. For the Guardian gets in touch to say that the decision to close the survey form was unrelated to any write-in campaign. A Guardian News and Media spokesperson said: 'Contrary to what you may have read on Twitter, there was no poll, and the Guardian does not run a person of the year feature. Nothing has been cancelled. We regularly invite readers to share their views on issues in the news.'
Still, the fact that such a campaign took hold amongst those giving the Graun its much-valued clicks might give those working there pause for thought. As a subsequent article subsequently noted drily 'in a sign of the ongoing debate over gender issues, many readers also nominated the author JK Rowling.'
Clarification: this article originally stated that the Guardian's entry form was a poll and competition, rather than a survey. Following correspondence with the Guardian, Steerpike is happy to make clear that there was no plan to rank submissions made by readers.