The canceling of author J.K. Rowling continued this week when a New Zealand book festival put the brakes on a Harry Potter-themed event due to the author’s past comments criticizing aspects of transgender ideology.
“Featherston Booktown Karukatea organisers have chosen not to feature a popular Harry Potter quiz on this year’s programme because of alleged transphobic comments made by the beloved fictional series’ author, JK Rowling,” reported Stuff.
Canceling the “Harry Potter” event comes not without a tinge of irony, according to feminist activist Jenny Whyte, given that “Featherston Booktown has a session selling tickets to a panel discussing cancel culture.”
“It’s really funny that all the way from the UK where a world-famous writer has gotten into trouble for expressing quite compassionate and reasonable views, all the way down to tiny little Featherston. It encapsulates the whole madness of it quite well,” said Whyte, who is also a lesbian.
Peter Biggs, the festival board chairman, said the decision to cancel the event came after discussing it with local organizers and the LGBTQ community, alleging that it would cause “distress” to certain people.
“The overwhelming response was there was a risk around causing distress to particular members of the community and that was the last thing we wanted to do,” he said. “We always thought Booktown should be an inclusive, welcoming place for everyone, so we took the decision not to go with Harry Potter.”
“I think it’s a strong decision that shows they’re really trying to be an inclusive community and support their rainbow and transgender young people,” said Tabby Besley, who runs Inside Out charities.
“There are so many inclusive writers of books and stories out there, so I’m sure they can come up with something else awesome to do a quiz on that doesn’t have that kind of potential upset,” Besley added.
As The Daily Wire reported last month, a Stanford staffer issued a statement condemning J.K. Rowling in response to a “Harry Potter”-themed dorm on campus.
“We want to acknowledge that J.K. Rowling has made many transphobic, anti-semitic, and racist statements over the past year,” the staffer said. “Her beliefs do not reflect our values as a house, and we want to make it clear that we do not tolerate comments like hers in this dorm. Our theme … is intended to make this space safe and fun for you this quarter.”
Last summer, J.K. Rowling said that transgender ideology could lead to the erasure of womanhood as we know it by denying the basic biological functions that differentiate women from men.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth,” she tweeted.
Following her post, Rowling faced severe social media backlash, prompting “Harry Potter” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Eddie Redmayne to publicly declare their support for the trans movement. Actors Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort, and Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, have both defended Rowling.
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