The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling: Trailer for podcast
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JK Rowling has given a series of in-depth interviews to discuss the widespread criticism she has received for her statements regarding transgender rights. The podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, sees the Harry Potter author speak to host Megan Phelps-Roper.
Megan is an American activist who grew up in the controversial Westboro Baptist Church before leaving in 2012.
In the trailer for The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, JK discusses the firestorm that her comments had ignited, saying: “I never set out to upset anyone.
“However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.”
She goes on to address the fans who have accused her of “ruining her legacy”, telling them: “You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.”
Rowling angered many fans with a series of tweets in 2020.
She quoted a headline: “People who menstruate,” and added: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
She continued: “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.”
The comments were condemned by many fans and actors who had worked on the Harry Potter series, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, openly spoke out against her.
Radcliffe said in an essay shared to The Trevor Project’s website: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people.”
While Watson tweeted: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”
JK later published an essay in an attempt to explain her comments.
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In the lengthy piece she opened up about her experience with domestic abuse and sexual assault and said she wrote it “out of solidarity with the huge numbers of women who have histories like mine, who’ve been slurred as bigots for having concerns around single-sex spaces”.
Now, JK has shared her reasons for agreeing to the unprecedented podcast interviews.
She tweeted a link to the trailer and explained she hopes the audio will be “constructive”.
She said: “Last year, I received a long, thoughtful letter from @Meganphelps inviting me to take part in a personal, in-depth discussion with her about the issues that have interested me in recent years.
“Megan proposed bringing in other voices, and looking at the wider picture, bringing her own unique viewpoint as a former fundamentalist who’s dedicated her life over the past decade to difficult conversations.
“I agreed to sit down with Megan because, having read her wonderful book, Unfollow, I thought the two of us could have a real, interesting, two-sided conversation that might prove constructive.”
The Witch Trials of JK Rowling will begin on Tuesday, February 21, wherever you get your podcasts.
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