“Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book,” said one source. “They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby.”
Another said, “It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views…. But this is a children’s fairy tale. It is not the end of the world. They will all be having chats with their managers.”
Hatchette, the book’s publisher, said in a statement that it was “proud” to publish Rowling’s fairy tale and said it respected its employees’ right to hold views different from their authors.
But while the company said it’d never force employees to work on books whose content they found upsetting for personal reasons, it said, “We draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book because they disagree with an author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our belief in free speech.”
Hatchette made headlines last year when its staff walked out in protest of its plans to publish the memoir of Woody Allen, the longtime director accused of sexually abusing his daughter Dylan Farrow. The company eventually dropped the title, calling it a “difficult” decision but calling the book’s publication “not feasible.”
Last month, Rowling’s transphobic tweets messed up Rowling’s The Ickabog a bit more. She asked children to submit drawings of the fairy tale creature, and Rowling accidentally copied and pasted transphobic text and an f-bomb into her reaction to a 9-year-old’s drawing.
Rowling later apologized for dropping an f-bomb on a child, but she has never apologized for her transphobia. In fact, she recently defended it in a rambling 3,700-word essay that wasn’t worth publishing either.