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JK Rowling: I have been misunderstood on transgender comments

The Harry Potter author said she 'never set out to upset anyone' with her stance on protecting sex-based rights for women.

J.K. Rowling arrives at the
JK Rowling has spoken out on being cancelled over transgender comments. (Getty Images)

JK Rowling has said she has been "profoundly misunderstood" over her comments about transgender women.

The Harry Potter author was 'cancelled' after she voiced her stance on protecting sex-based rights for women and she has now spoken out about claims she "ruined her legacy" by expressing her views on trans rights.

Rowling told new podcast The Witch Trials of JK Rowling: “I never set out to upset anyone. However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.

"And what has interested me over the last 10 years, particularly over the last two or three years, particularly on social media 'You've ruined you legacy.' 'Oh you could have been beloved forever but you chose to say this.'

"You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly."

Read more: Daniel Radcliffe: It felt really important to support trans kids after JK Rowling comments

JK Rowling poses for pictures after she was made a Companion of Honour by Britain's Prince William during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, in London December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Matthews/Pool
JK Rowling was honoured for her services to literature in 2017. (PA)

The 57-year-old writer and feminist has received death threats and been the victim of 'doxxing' - publishing private information on the internet for malicious purposes - since being accused of transphobia.

This happened in June 2020 after she made a series of posts on Twitter, responding to a story with a headline which read: “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.”

She tweeted: “‘People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The writer went on to publish an essay online in which she claimed - as a domestic violence survivor - that she felt allowing trans people to use single-sex bathrooms and changing rooms could be "offering cover to predators".

At the time star of the Harry Potter movies, Daniel Radcliffe released a statement through LGBTQ suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project saying: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional healthcare associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.

“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."

Daniel Radcliffe, JK Rowling, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint at the world premiere of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2.   (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have distanced themselves from JK Rowling after her comments. (Getty Images)

Other Harry Potter stars including Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have spoken out against Rowling's views on trans issues.

But other members of the cast have defended the writer.

Miriam Margolyes, who played Professor Sprout, has said the anger directed Rowling had been "misplaced".

The 81-year-old gay actor said: "There isn't one answer to all these trans questions."

The late Robbie Coltrane who played groundskeeper Hagrid, also defended Rowling.

Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes has defended JK Rowling. (PA)

Read more: Why was J.K. Rowling cancelled? The 'Harry Potter' author's controversies explained

He said previously: “I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended."

Tom Felton has praised her for "bringing joy to different generations and walks of life".

The Witch Trials of JK Rowling will begin on Tuesday 21 February on all podcast channels.

Watch: JK Rowling made £18m from her publishing company last year amid transgender rows