JK Rowling is trending on Twitter and everyone knows what that means! That’s right — reasonable and civil discourse! No, it’s absolutely the opposite, even more than usual. Rowling fans are responding to part of a New York Times ad campaign that seems ready to erase the author from the iconic books she’s known for, and they are not happy about it.
The offending New York Times ad has been spotted on subway trains as an electronic billboard, with the paper promoting itself as a bastion of independent journalism. On the billboard is Lianna who, in one of the phrases displayed in the ad is “imagining Harry Potter without its creator.” The ad has sent Rowling supporters into a rage on social media, with many not only speaking up on their support for JK Rowling, but canceling their New York Times subscriptions in protest. You can see an example of the ad below.
It seems like in a lot of the more recent JK Rowling related social media dust-ups, it’s those who have lost faith and trust in the author who are the loudest. This time, however, things are a bit different. Enraged at the suggestion that Rowling can be separated from her stories, her fans are showing their support on twitter with their wallets, with parodies of the ad that’s started it all, and sadly in many cases with the same kinds of transphobic rhetoric that the author is accused of.
On the other side of the coin are those whose trust JK Rowling has lost and is not likely to regain any time soon. In their eyes, it seems Rowling has made her bed and they are content for her to lie in it. At least one Twitter user makes a very interesting point — they argue that in spite of all the arguments about it not being possible to separate Rowling from the Harry Potter books, the very fact that her name is now more closely associated with transphobia than with her book series proves that it’s not only possible, but it’s already happened.
The current discourse about JK Rowling also makes it clear that every time her names becomes a trending topic, for many fans — regardless of what they believe — particularly trans and non-binary fans, things get ugly on social media. Whether or not you believe Rowling is transphobic, the entire discussion attracts unquestionable transphobes who spew the kind of things no one who isn’t a bigot wants to read, and that proves nothing but harmful to the targets of their speech.
And some have chosen a different, unique, kind of weird, and utterly hilarious path. Rather than argue about canceling JK Rowling or not canceling her, they are using what appears to be some kind of decades-old children’s reading promotional material as proof that it simply was not Rowling who wrote the Harry Potter series. As you can see below, if this is accurate, then likely with the conclusion to every book, the real author said, “Oops, I did it again.”