Mark Hamill apologises for liking JK Rowling tweet with 'transphobic connotation'

'Ignorance is no excuse,' Star Wars actor tweets

Sabrina Barr
Friday 20 December 2019 09:22 GMT
JK Rowling supports researcher who lost job and employment tribunal for tweeting ‘men cannot change into women’

Mark Hamill has apologised for liking a tweet shared by JK Rowling that has been condemned as “transphobic”.

On Thursday Rowling tweeted in defence of Maya Forstater, a former employee of think-tank Centre for Global Development, who lost her job after tweeting “men cannot change into women”.

The tweets were written as part of a thread opposing government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

Ms Forstater took her case to an employment tribunal, but found out on Wednesday she had not been successful in appealing the decision, and shared the news on Twitter.

The Harry Potter author tweeted in support of Ms Forstater, writing: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like.

"Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live you best life in peace and security. But force women our of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

Rowling received heavy backlash for her tweet, with her tweet later being liked by Star Wars actor Mark Hamill.

After a Twitter user questioned Hamill over why he liked Rowling’s tweet, he explained that he had not clearly understood the author’s message.

“Why did you like this transphobic tweet?” the Twitter user wrote, to which Hamill replied: “Ignorance is no excuse, but I liked the tweet without understanding what the last line or hashtags meant.

“It was the first four lines I liked and I didn’t realise it had any transphobic connotation.”

Several people thanked Hamill for apologising and shedding light on his views.

“Saw the ‘like’ and found it curious, but you have a solid track record. You earned the vendor of the doubt. Thanks for clarifying,” one person stated.

Rowling has been heavily criticised for her support of Ms Forstater, with one critic stating that it is “incredibly disappointing to see, from someone whose writing espouses so much kindness”.

“What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?” tweeted actor, writer and mental health campaigner Mara Wilson.

“I grew up as a trans child reading your books as an escape. I would often pick out names from characters to give to myself, before I ever felt comfortable in who I was,” another person wrote.

“This decision, to support people that hate me, and want to do me harm. It brings me to tears... Why. Why?”

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