The decade's most triggering comedy
Iconic children’s author Judy Blume, known for her sometimes controversial coming-of-age stories, said that she was “100%” behind “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling — and was forced to apologize almost immediately.
Blume issued the apology via Twitter, saying that she absolutely supported the trans community and that her point had been “taken out of context.” What she meant to say, she explained, was that she merely empathized with another writer who was being “harassed online.”
Per my recent interview with Variety: pic.twitter.com/ncLSyYqfql
— Judy Blume (@judyblume) April 16, 2023
Blume went on to share a few lines from a recent interview she had done with Variety — in which she had claimed that allowing children to read whatever they wanted was not a risk and argued that reading about transgender children didn’t make them more likely to say that they were transgender themselves.
The initial backlash stemmed from an interview for The Sunday Times ahead of the release of the film version of one of her most popular novels — “Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret” — which follows a young girl through the ups and down of puberty and her first menstrual cycle. And during the interview, she said that one of her main goals as an author was to remind children that it was all right for them to simply be normal kids.
“I tell Blume how strangely thrilling it is to see a movie about children where none of them are in possession of magical powers,” interviewer Hadley Freeman prompted Blume.
“Yes, children are so used to superheroes now, aren’t they?” Blume agreed.
Freeman mentioned “Harry Potter” then, acknowledging that most of the characters in the series have some degree of magical ability and that she loved those stories as well — and Blume said she felt the same way.
“And I love her,” Blume said of Rowling. “I am behind her 100 per cent as I watch from afar.”
Blume, who faced considerable backlash for her own young adult novels in the 1980s — in addition to “Margaret,” “Deenie” addressed the topic of masturbation and “Forever” addressed sex — appeared to be referencing Rowling’s ongoing battle with the transgender community.
Blume went on to say that she had met Rowling some years earlier but that the two had not spoken recently.
“I met her very early on in her Harry Potter career, and she said to me, ‘Oh, my sister and I used to read all your books,’ and she talked about ‘Deenie.’ I think once or twice we sent each other little notes,” Blume added. “But I haven’t been in touch with her during this tough time. Probably I should.”
Rowling has been on the receiving end of a lot of hate — and even death threats — since becoming a vocal advocate for female-only spaces amid a movement to force women to share those spaces with trans-identifying but fully intact biological males.