Saturday Star

JK Rowling gets ’cancelled’ again for her tweets on gender issues


ORGANISERS of a book festival in New Zealand that was meant to feature a Harry Potter-themed segment decided to cancel it this year because of Rowling’s tweets that were viewed as transphobi­c.

The board chairperso­n for the Feathersto­n’s Booktown festival, Peter Biggs, told the New Zealand-based publicatio­n Stuff that the decision to drop the annual Harry Potter-themed quiz was not taken lightly, and came after discussion­s with members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

“The overwhelmi­ng response was that there was a risk around causing distress to particular members of the community, and that was the last thing we wanted to do,” Biggs said.

The book festival, which reportedly runs from May 6-9, is set to host a discussion that will examine the “cancel culture” phenomenon and its impact on New Zealand art and literature.

Local LQBTQIA+ advocates had mixed reviews to the news of the Harry Potter quiz cancellati­on.

Tabby Besley, of the Inside Out charity, told Stuff the decision was proof that the organisers were trying to create an inclusive community.

However, a local feminist activist found the decision ironic since the event was set to cover “cancel culture” and the organisers had essentiall­y cancelled Rowling.

“I think they might be trying to capitalise on the current fad of cancel culture,” Jenny Whyte told Stuff.

This is not the first time the 55-year-old best-selling author has been “cancelled” for her tweets as she faced harsh criticism last June when she mocked an online article for using the term “people who menstruate” instead of “women”. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” read Rowling’s tweet at the time.

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