Tom Slater

The attacks on J.K. Rowling only prove her point

The attacks on J.K. Rowling only prove her point
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It is often said that J.K. Rowling is uncancellable. So rich and bankable is the Harry Potter author — now a modern-day folk devil due to her views on transgenderism — it is almost inconceivable that she could be deprived of her livelihood or pushed entirely out of polite society. But her deranged haters are certainly giving it a good go.

The demonisation of Rowling has taken a decidedly Stalinist turn of late. Her crime? Making some mild criticisms of gender ideology and holding to deeply old-fashioned views like believing in biological sex. The cultural elite might not be able to deprive Rowling of her income, but they can try to erase her name from the very work she has created.

This week, the Times reports that Rowling’s name has been all but scrubbed out from the promotional material for the latest Fantastic Beasts film, The Secrets of Dumbledore. Where Rowling’s name was all over the trailer for the previous instalment, The Crimes of Grindelwald, she has now been demoted to a small publishing-rights note at the end of the new trailer.

As with all the Fantastic Beasts films, Rowling wrote and produced the new one. She also, you know, created the whole ‘wizarding world’ universe, as it’s called, in which Fantastic Beasts and the Potter books and flicks are based. But she is apparently so toxic that her name must now be hidden away from pre-teen cinephiles.

This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. Last month, it was reported that Rowling has been left out of an upcoming HBO Max retrospective on the Potter films, confined to archive footage. Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint will all be involved — alongside practically the entire cast — but the woman who these three pretty ropey talents owe their careers to will not.

In recent months, those ungrateful little twerps have taken to social media to condemn Rowling for her views on trans. Eddie Redmayne, star of Fantastic Beasts, has also made his disagreements known. Somewhat unfortunately, one of the few big Potter stars to defend Rowling is Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, a character whose name is also unsayable.

This is really getting out of hand. A beloved children’s author is being etched out of her own work like some commissar who got on the wrong side of the party leader. And for what? For saying and believing things that are shared by the vast majority of the population.

What J.K. Rowling has actually said about trans issues is incredibly measured and sympathetic. In an essay she published last year, she argues that trans people deserve all the rights and dignity in the world. She’s just concerned about abusive men exploiting gender self-identification to gain access to women-only spaces.

She’s also worried about the Orwellian nature of trans ideology — a point she underlined on Twitter this week when she criticised Police Scotland for saying they would record a rape as committed by a woman if the rapist identifies as such. This is despite the fact that rape, in law, can only be committed by men. 

How fitting. As extreme trans activists set about trying to erase the concept of womanhood, their allies in the entertainment industry are trying to erase the concept of J.K. Rowling. In their hysteria and intolerance, they only prove her point.