Written by: @kristenshylin_
The author of the beloved Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, joined 150 writers, academics and activists in a call for action to end cancel culture.
According to Deadline, the author signed the open letter published by Harper’s denouncing the “restriction of debate” in modern culture.
Rowling has recently received criticism from her ignorant tweets about transgender people.
Three days ago, she posted a thread tweets comparing the overuse of mental health medication to gay conversion therapy.
The author, who has shared her battle with mental health issues, tweeted that young people struggling with their mental health are being “shunted toward” hormones and surgery when it “may not be in their best interests.”
In her series of tweets, she added, “Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalization that result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function.”
Her statements stirred a mixture of emotions from her Twitter followers. Many expressed that they found Rowling’s tweets “condescending” and “transphobic.”
Black trans model Munroe Bergdorf responded to Rowling’s tweets, saying, “While @jk_rowling is condescendingly tweeting from her mansion, black trans women are fighting for our lives. Trans kids are at home scared and navigating unsupportive environments, and the government are debating our civil rights. J.K. Rowling, you are not helping us. STOP.”
Multiple healthcare professionals also denounced Rowling’s claims, stating that there are no studies proving her bias.
Rowling, who advocates for online debate, signed her signature to the letter, which said that free speech is becoming restricted.
”The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter read.
The letter added that it is becoming common to hear calls for fast cancellation of individuals when their speech is perceived as transgressional.
The memo asserted that cancel culture would silence “good-faith” disagreement and negatively impact the most “vital causes of our time,” Deadline reported.
The letter also recommended open debates of conflicting ideas instead of immediate cancellation.
”The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.”
On Tuesday, Rowling tweeted a link to the letter on her Twitter account with the caption,” I was very proud to sign this letter in defense of a foundational principle of a liberal society: open debate and freedom of thought and speech.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The signed missive will also appear in Harper’s Magazine’s October issue.