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An author from Glasgow, Scotland, has been fired after supporting J.K. Rowling’s stance vis-a-vis transgender ideology.
According to Herald Scotland, Gillian Philip, author of a series of popular children’s books, tweeted in support of J.K. Rowling and was subsequently fired from her position with Working Partners, a fiction packaging firm.
“Gillian Philip, who is from Glasgow, backed the Harry Potter novelist on Twitter amid an ongoing row over transgender rights,” reported the outlet. “Philip, who has penned a popular series of books for eight-to-12-year-olds, added the hashtag #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter handle.”
“Her move sparked a torrent of criticism online and emails to her employer Working Partners, a fiction packaging firm which devises series for publishing houses and commissions authors to write them,” the report continued. “Philip had been one of several authors writing under the name Erin Hunter on popular animal fantasy series including Warrior Cats, Survivors and Bravelands. The publisher cut ties with her last week.”
In a statement to the Daily Mail, Gillian Philip said that an abusive mob destroyed her professional life.
“I am disappointed that the hard work and professional attitude I have brought to my work for HarperCollins and for Working Partners counted for nothing in the face of an abusive mob of anonymous Twitter trolls,” she said. “It is concerning that my concerns about women’s legal rights and spaces have been presented as ‘transphobia’, and that this accusation has been allowed to stand by my former employers.”
Working Partners claims, however, that the firing stemmed from Philip’s use of the name Erin Hunter when voicing her Rowling support, which embroiled the company in her personal stance.
“Erin Hunter is not a single person but a diverse team of creatives and writers,” the company said in a statement. “We recently became aware that Gillian Philip had associated the Erin Hunter pen-name with her personal views on Twitter, thus associating them with the whole collective.”
“In light of this situation, the decision was taken to no longer work with Gillian Philip,” the statement continued. “The decision taken was not in direct response to the nature of Gillian’s personally expressed views.”
Rowling sparked controversy last month when she said that the concept of transgenderism erases the struggles of women across the world.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” Rowling tweeted, as reported by Fox News. “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 idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she continued.
Following her post, Rowling faced a severe social media backlash, prompting “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe and “Fantastic Beasts” star Eddie Redmayne to publicly declare their support for trans people. As criticism mounted, Rowling penned an essay about her experiences as a survivor of both sexual assault and domestic violence and argued that the concept of men becoming women erases womanhood entirely.
“It isn’t enough for women to be trans allies,” she wrote. “Women must accept and admit that there is no material difference between trans women and themselves. But, as many women have said before me, ‘woman’ is not a costume. ‘Woman’ is not an idea in a man’s head. ‘Woman’ is not a pink brain, a liking for Jimmy Choos, or any of the other sexist ideas now somehow touted as progressive.”
Though the publishing company producing Rowling’s new book, The Ickabog, has been pressured by LGBTQ activists to censure the author, the company has stood by her right to express her opinion.