J.K. Rowling walked back praise for Stephen King after her fellow author spoke out against her recent anti-transgender comments.
“Trans women are women,” King tweeted Sunday, after a fan asked him to address “the TERF tweet,” referencing Rowling’s social media posts earlier this month, which many fans deemed transphobic.
Earlier that day, King retweeted one of Rowling’s posts, which featured a quote about men reacting poorly when women speak out about their experiences. The “Harry Potter” writer had shared a long thread responding to those who criticized her for revealing she had been sexually assaulted in the past in a recent blog post, defending her stance that trans inclusive language is “hostile and alienating” to women.
After King’s retweet, Rowling sang “The Shining” author’s praises, then deleted the post once King clarified where he stood.
“I’ve always revered @StephenKing, but today my love reached – maybe not Annie Wilkes levels – but new heights,” she wrote in the now-deleted tweet, screenshotted by fans. “It’s so much easier for men to ignore women’s concerns, or to belittle them, but I won’t ever forget the men who stood up when they didn’t need to. Thank you, Stephen.”
Less than six months after the writer was slammed for showing support for Maya Forstater, a researcher who lost her job at a think tank for stating that people cannot change their biological sex, Rowling made a similar stir in criticizing a headline on the website devex.com. The op-ed piece included the phrase “people who menstruate” in an effort to be more inclusive.
“I’m sure there used to be a word for those people,” Rowling tweeted. “Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
After facing backlash, Rowling stood her ground, claiming her life “has been shaped by being female” and defended the exclusionary comments while arguing she still supports transgender people.
Fans and celebrities on social media met Rowling’s comments against transgender people earlier this month with incredulity, wondering why the author seemingly made the comments out of her own volition while the rest of the world has been focusing on protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as Pride Month, a time meant to honor and celebrate members of the LGBTQ+ community.
“Harry Potter” film stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and “Fantastic Beasts” spinoff star Eddie Redmayne were among those who have worked with Rowling and since denounced her views.
“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote in an essay for LGBTQ non-profit organization The Trevor Project. “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
Though the actor noted that Rowling is “unquestionably responsible” for the course of his life, he added he still feels “compelled to say something at this moment.”
“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” he continued. “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”