jakub | February 15, 2023

J.K. Rowling addresses backlash to transgender comments

J.K. Rowling has addressed the backlash to her past comments about transgender people.

Over the last two years, the Harry Potter author has generated widespread controversy with a number of remarks that many have perceived as transphobic.

Now, speaking about the backlash in a new podcast, Rowling has claimed that fans “profoundly” misunderstood her point of view.

In the upcoming podcast, The Witch Trials Of J.K. Rowling, the writer says (via Variety): “What has interested me in recent years, particularly on social media [is when fans say], ‘You’ve ruined your legacy. Oh, you could have been beloved forever, but you chose to say this.’ And I think: ‘You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.’”

In a trailer for the podcast, Rowling says: “I never set out to upset anyone. However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.”

J.K. Rowling attends the World Premiere of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore” at The Royal Festival Hall on March 29, 2022 in London, England. CREDIT: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, which is hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, is described as an “audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author.”

In the interviews conducted by Phelps Roper at Rowling’s home in Edinburgh, Scotland, the author “speaks with unprecedented candor and depth about the controversies surrounding her – from book bans to debates on gender and sex.”

The series also features interviews with Rowling’s supporters and critics, as well as journalists, historians, “clinicians and more.”

The seven-episode podcast series is set to launch February 21, with the release of the first two episodes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other audio platforms. The following episodes will be released weekly.

Elsewhere, Hogwarts Legacy, the new open-world role-playing game set in Rowling’s Wizarding World, recently introduced the franchise’s first-ever trans character. The author has no creative influence on the game, but does profit from its sales.

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