JK Rowling has been in hot water for the last few years regarding her transphobic opinions. Recently, a new book by Rowling has brought up her divisive feelings once again. Now, a new wrinkle to the conversation has appeared due to celebrated author Stephen King lobbing praise at the new novel.
Stephen King praised JK Rowling’s novel, Troubled Blood, with this tweet, and it has caused a tidal wave of anger from Rowling’s detractors:
King’s intentions towards judging JK Rowling’s new book on its own merits are good, but they are unfortunately very naive when looking at the larger issues surrounding Rowling and her new novel. And it has brought out disappointed responses from many of Stephen King’s fans, including fellow creatives such as writer Gennifer Hutchison, who has worked on Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series.
Stephen King is not the only one to get wrapped up in these issues surrounding JK Rowling. All three lead actors from the Harry Potter film series have publicly denounced Rowling’s views, with star Daniel Radcliffe going so far as to reportedly say that he would consider a return to the franchise if Rowling was not involved.
Troubled Blood is a JK Rowling novel that is written under the pseudonym of Robert Galbraith, whose name Rowling shares with a noted psychiatrist who practiced highly controversial methods of gay conversion therapy. In the novel, the antagonist is a male serial killer who cross-dresses as a woman. This inclusion has led many critics to believe that Rowling is utilizing the novel to profess her feelings towards transgender people. One review went so far as to boil down Rowling’s potential message in Troubled Blood as “never trust a man in a dress.”
In the middle of all this is Stephen King, a luminary author with a staggering body of work. King has denounced JK Rowling’s views in the past but this show of support for Troubled Blood has thrown him back into the fray. King is obviously a lover of stories and is probably able to distance Rowling’s involvement from the actual book. That is certainly his prerogative as a fellow author and lover of fiction, but it can’t discount the numerous marginalized people that have felt attacked by Rowling.
JK Rowling has not been completely alone in this matter. Harry Potter actor Robbie Coltrane recently defended Rowling and Rowling has a legion of fans that stand beside her no matter what. With her hardline stance regarding transgender people, it is going to be intriguing to see how future projects that either directly involve Rowling or are tied to her as a creator will be able to progress.
JK Rowling has yet to comment on the controversies surrounding Troubled Blood. It is also worth noting that she has not responded to the accusation that her new book ripped off its plot from the seminal 1994 goofball comedy, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. We await Rowling’s response to all these claims.