5 times celebrities clapped back at J.K. Rowling’s transphobia

"Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling
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J.K. Rowling has now spent years using her extremely influential platform to espouse dangerous beliefs against the transgender community.

The author has issued diatribes about transgender people, come out in support of conversion therapy for trans people, and claimed that almost everyone agrees with her, even as famous people that she has worked with condemned her words. She also wrote a book about a cisgender man who wears women’s clothes to get close to women and kill them.

Related: J.K. Rowling decided to speak on behalf of lesbians & OMG it didn’t go over well

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Celebrities have continued to clap back at Rowling for the harm she’s caused.

Here are just five who have skewered her.

Jonathan Van Ness

In December, Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness succinctly shut down Rowling’s vulgar tweet that called trans women rapists.

Rowling had tweeted a link to a story that called police “absurd” for describing alleged rapists as “women” if they are trans women.

“War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength,” Rowling tweeted sarcastically. “The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.”

While Rowling didn’t explain why she believes this is important, readers understood her comments to mean either that she believes that women can’t be rapists or that transgender women are more likely to be rapists because of their gender identity.

And Van Ness wasn’t having it.

“The biggest threats of violence against women has always been cis gender men,” he wrote. “Not trans women, unless Jk’s constant transphobic cherry picked vitriol convinces you otherwise.”

“But as trans women are assaulted, deprived of work, killed, and raped JK is safe in her mansion.”

Emma Watson

Earlier this month, Hermione herself made a dig at Rowling while presenting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards.

Rebel Wilson hosted the show on Sunday and introduced Watson by declaring, “She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”

When Watson took the mic, she immediately emphasized, “I’m here for all of the witches by the way,” which many took as a direct rebuke of Rowling and a clear stance for the trans community.

After Rowling made it clear that she is a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF), Watson publicly spoke out in support of the trans community, tweeting, “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.”

“I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.”

Lynda Carter

Just after Rowling called trans women rapists on Twitter, legendary actor Lynda Carter stood up for trans people and explained the importance of affirming people’s identities on social media today.

Carter didn’t mention Rowling, but the timing led many of Wonder Woman’s fans to conclude that she was subtweeting the Harry Potter author.

“You don’t have to be trans to understand the importance of respecting trans people and affirming their identities,” Carter tweeted.

“Life is just too short. I can’t imagine how it makes any sense to use one’s fame and resources to put others down.”

Dustin Lance Black

In 2020, out screenwriter and producer Dustin Lance Black, who is also the husband of out Olympic diver Tom Daley, had an epic take-down of Rowling’s book about a man who dresses up as a woman in order to kill women.

“JK’s work has always been jammed full of ‘borrowed’ old tropes,” said Black. “It was just that she ‘borrowed’ tales many enjoyed revisiting. Her new well: long disproven, discriminatory old tropes and lies sewn by bigots. She’s a pretender. A thief. A fraud. And likely always has been.”

Black is perhaps best known for writing the 2008 film Milk, for which he won an Academy Award.

Barnes & Noble

While Barnes & Noble is not a celebrity per se, this one was too good to exclude. In November, a Barnes & Noble store in New York City offered a display of books about wizards, sans Harry Potter, with a sign advertising, “The Unproblematic Wizarding World.”

On social media, users were cheering for the triumph of less problematic magic wielders. Fans quickly touted the other authors and the works displayed.

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