JK Rowling Says Harry Potter Fans Love Her Controversial Comments

J.K. Rowling said that many Harry Potter fans supported her when it came to opinions about transgenderism.

By Jessica Scott | Updated

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Once upon a time, J.K. Rowling, author of the insanely popular Harry Potter series, could do no wrong. But, with one single controversial tweet in 2019, she brought down a firestorm of hate and cancel culture as well. It was when she supported a researcher who had been fired because she claimed that gender is a real, biological thing. Rowling has gotten a ton of criticism – and threats – since then, but according to Deadline, Rowling says that “a ton of Potter fans were still with me. And, in fact, a ton of Potter fans were grateful for what I said.”

In her new podcast, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, the talented but embattled author tells listeners first-hand what it has been like to suffer the aftermath of that fateful tweet, which read: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”

As open-minded readers can see, J.K. Rowling was not actually directing any hate toward transgender people – she implied that their lifestyle choices were totally up to them and totally fine with her. Her problem was the firing of a researcher who did not share someone else’s idea of what should and shouldn’t be said in the workplace. However, this tweet was read as anti-transgender, and she was quickly labeled a “TERF,” which means “trans-exclusionary radical feminist.” 

J.K. Rowling admits that she suspected her tweet would create controversy, stating that she knew it would “cause a massive storm.” Still, though, she has been shocked by the intensity of the hatred she was met with, and with the way people have been drawing comparisons between her and Adolf Hitler.

Many of J.K. Rowling’s former fans began spreading the word on social media that they would be boycotting everything Harry Potter-related as long as she remains part of the franchise (which is pretty much forever… she can’t exactly un-write the books now). These same fans even called for a boycott of the new Hogwarts Legacy video game, which didn’t go very well, apparently, as it is one of the most popular games that has been released in years.

J.K. Rowling says that many of her other fans, though, stuck with her and supported her having her own opinion, even if it doesn’t please everyone. Still, though, these past few years have “not been fun” for her, and she has had to worry about her safety and the safety of her family, as they have received numerous threats of death and bodily harm.

She is sticking to what she said, though, and says that “time will tell whether I’ve got this wrong.” J.K. Rowling has listened to what the other side has to say, and she has considered their opinions carefully, but she is not going to apologize for putting in her two cents about gender identity.

She says that she “never set out to hurt anyone,” but also that she knows that a lot of the people who are angry with her are not going to listen to her explanations anyway.

The actors and actresses in the Harry Potter film franchise have been divided on the issue as well. Some have also condemned her, while others, like Evanna Lynch, have defended her, encouraging people to “treat her with more grace and listen to her.” Helena Bonham Carter added that this enraged response to J.K. Rowling’s tweet has been “taken to the extreme,” and has taken what could have just been one simple tweet meant to express support and turned it into something that has split the entire Harry Potter fan base apart.