JK Rowling criticises Sky News for referring to cat killer as woman: ‘I’m so sick of this’

‘This is not a woman. These are #NotOurCrimes’ she wrote before facing online backlash

Maira Butt
Wednesday 28 February 2024 04:33 GMT
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JK Rowling has hit out at broadcaster Sky News for referring to murderer Scarlet Blake as a woman in its reporting.

Blake, 26, dissected a cat and placed its body in a blender just months before she stalked down her male victim and killed him in cold blood.

She was jailed for life after being convicted for the murder of Jorge Martin Carreno as part of a sexual fantasy inspired by a Netflix documentary.

After it emerged that the killer had transitioned to female, Rowling criticised Sky News for referring to her as a woman on X/Twitter, saying: “I’m so sick of this s***. This is not a woman. These are #NotOurCrimes”.

The Harry Potter author has faced sustained backlash as a result of her views on transgender rights, and previously said she would rather go to jail than refer to a transgender person by their preferred pronouns.

Following her criticism of the Sky News report, the author reshared a complaint by journalist Louise Tickle to The Guardian editor Kath Viner, saying “Every word of this”.

Tickle called reference to Blake as a woman as a “failure of transparency” and “failures of editorial judgement and process”.

Users criticised Rowling, with one saying “What a weird thing to complain about. As if there aren’t plenty of cis women that have committed horrible crimes. What does it matter how this person identifies?”

JK Rowling has continuously criticised gender ideology (Getty Images)

Rowling replied with a list she’d constructed: “1. Crime statistics are rendered useless if violent and sexual attacks committed by men are recorded as female crimes. 2. Activists are already clamouring for this sadistic killer to be incarcerated in a women’s prison. 3. Ideologically-driven misinformation is not journalism”.

The backlash against Rowling appeared to begin in December 2019, when she came out in support of researcher Maya Forstater, a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development whose contract was not renewed after she made a number of anti-trans posts on social media.

In June 2020, Rowling called out an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”. She wrote: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Scarlet Blake who has been jailed for life at Oxford Crown Court (Thames Valley Police/PA) (PA Media)

Many people including numerous celebrities criticised her comment as “anti-trans” and “transphobic”, arguing that many trans men, non-binary and non-gender conforming people can also menstruate, and many women cannot.

Rowling has continued to regularly discuss gender issues and trans rights on social media in the years since.

Among those to criticise the author was Harry Potter film star Daniel Radcliffe who wrote an essay for The Trevor Project in support of trans people. In the article, he wrote: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either [Rowling] or I.

“It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

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