JK Rowling says she ‘never set out to upset anyone’ over transgender views

‘You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly,’ Rowling said

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 15 February 2023 04:02 GMT
JK Rowling in lengthy explanation over transgender comments

JK Rowling has said she “never set out to upset anyone” over her past comments on transgender issues.

The 57-year-old Harry Potter opened up about her thoughts in a new podcast series called The Witch Trials of JK Rowling.

Speaking in the trailer for the podcast, which is hosted by author and activist Megan Phelps-Roper, Rowling said: “I never set out to upset anyone. However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.

“And what has interested me over the last 10 years, and certainly over the past few years, two, three years, particularly on social media, ‘You’ve ruined your legacy. You could have been beloved forever but you chose to say this’.

“And I think, you could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.”

Rowling has previously been criticised for her staunch views on gender identity, which she shared on social media.

She previously tweeted that she has received “so many death threats I could paper the house with them”.

In a series of tweets about the upcoming podcast series, Rowling said she had agreed to take part in the project, after being approached by a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church Phelps-Roper, because she felt the pair could have a “real, interesting, two-sided conversation that might prove constructive”.

After leaving the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its hateful views and frequent protests against the LGBT community and other marginalised communities, in 2012, Phelps-Roper wrote Unfollow.

The memoir details her experience of “loving and leaving extremism”.

Rowling’s comments in the trailer come shortly after the release of the highly-anticipated video game Hogwarts Legacy.

The open-world adventure game, which is set prior to the novel series, in the 1800s, has attracted controversy online – with many fans calling for it to be boycotted due to Rowling’s views on gender.

The stars of the Harry Potter film franchise – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint – are among those who have spoken out against Rowling’s views previously.

The author has strongly denied accusations of transphobia.

The Witch Trials of JK Rowling is set for release on 21 February.

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