J.K. Rowling has found herself in the crosshairs of social media after she tweeted her support for a woman accused of being anti-trans. Earlier today, Variety noted that the Harry Potter author had posted a message in support of Maya Forstater, a researcher who was fired from her job after writing that a person couldn't change their biological sex. While Rowling's tweet was generally supportive and inclusive, it was the last line that drew ire.
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
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? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
Forstater was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development, and recently lost a court challenge over her firing. The presiding judge ruled that the termination was valid, issuing a statement that read, in part, "by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment."
The criticism of Rowling's tweet was significant, with the Human Rights Campaign, stating "Trans women are women," which was aimed squarely at the author. Fellow author Mara Wilson tweeted "What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?"
Attorney Jill Filipovic also weighed in, and while she advocates for free speech, she added that this protection "doesn't mean you get to maintain employment while discriminating & creating workplace hostility."
Much of the response from longtime fans of Rowling's work have been hit especially hard by this news, as she has openly been supportive of the LGBTQ community -- both in public and in the pages of her books. Earlier this year, while promoting Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, she even confirmed a long-held fan theory about the character of Dumbledore being gay.
"It was passionate, and it was a love relationship,” Rowling said about Dumbledore and his past relationship with Grindelwald. "But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know."
The third installment of the Fantastic Beasts series, which is set years before the events of Harry Potter, had its production delayed at the beginning of January.