Children’s news website The Day apologises to JK Rowling after the Harry Potter author threatened legal action over article claiming she had ‘harmed’ transgender people
- Newspaper agreed to make ‘financial contribution’ to charity of Rowling’s choice
- Article referenced writer’s reaction to a headline about ‘people who menstruate’
- The Day accepted their story ‘implied she attacked and harmed trans people’
- It follows Rowling signing open letter defending free speech earlier this month
Children’s news website The Day has apologised to JK Rowling after the Harry Potter author threatened legal action over an article claiming she had ‘harmed’ transgender people.
The newspaper for UK schoolchildren also agreed to make a ‘financial contribution’ to a charity of Rowling’s choice after publishing a story titled ‘Potterheads cancel Rowling after trans tweet’ on June 10.
In the article, The Day referred to the writer’s reaction in a series of tweets to a headline about ‘people who menstruate’ last month.
Children’s news website The Day (Editor-in-Chief Richard Addis, right) has apologised to JK Rowling (left) after the Harry Potter author threatened legal action over an article
The Day’s website, which is aimed towards UK schoolchildren and is used by schools to hand out homework. The website issued an apology to the author on Wednesday
‘”People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’, the award-winning author told her 14.3million followers.
The children’s news site, which schools use to hand out homework, questioned whether Harry Potter should be boycotted, saying ‘some of the greatest artistic achievements’ have been created by ‘deeply unpleasant people’.
It drew comparisons with figures such as Richard Wagner and Pablo Picasso, adding: ‘Since the 1950s, the civil rights movement has used boycotts to take money and status away from people and organisations harming minorities and shame them into change their behaviour. Online it is often called “cancelling”.’
The Day issued an apology to Rowling on Wednesday, writing: ‘We accept that our article implied that what JK Rowling had tweeted was objectionable and that she had attacked and harmed trans people.
‘The article was critical of JK Rowling personally and suggested that our readers should boycott her work and shame her into changing her behaviour. Our intention was to provoke debate on a complex topic.
‘We did not intend to suggest that JK Rowling was transphobic or that she should be boycotted.’
It added: ‘We accept that our comparisons of JK Rowling to people such as Picasso, who celebrated sexual violence, and Wagner, who was praised by the Nazis for his anti-Semitic and racist views, were clumsy, offensive and wrong.
‘Debate about a complex issue where there is a range of legitimate views should have been handled with much more sensitivity and more obvious recognition of the difference between fact and opinion.
The full statement from The Day apologising to Rowling. The children’s news site said it will also be making a ‘financial contribution’ to the charity of the author’s choice
‘We unreservedly apologise to JK Rowling for the offence caused, are happy to retract these false allegations and to set the record straight.’
It follows disappointed fans and other social media users branding Rowling’s remarks last month as ‘anti-trans’ and ‘transphobic’, as transgenders, non-binary and gender-nonconforming individuals can also menstruate.
The writer stood by her tweet as she later insisted: ‘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 media personality seemingly denied claims of transphobia as she insisted she ‘respects every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them.’
Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright have also all publicly criticised the author who was accused of transphobia.
Rowling joined Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Noam Chomsky and Martin Amis to sign an open letter defending free speech earlier this month.
Source: Read Full Article