Now that author J.K. Rowling has refused to back down from her views on transgender ideology, staff for the company that publishes her children’s book have threatened to strike if they continue to carry the book.
According to the Daily Mail, staff for Hachette’s children’s department voiced their outrage over the company still carrying Rowling’s new book, “The Ickabog,” despite her views on transgenderism.
“Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book,” an inside source told the outlet. “They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby. These staff are all very ‘woke,’ mainly in their twenties and early thirties, and apparently it is an issue they feel very strongly about.”
Another source told the outlet that “it was a handful of staff,” and that they will soon be talking with their managers.
“It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views,” said the source. “If they were being asked to edit a book on domestic abuse, and they were a survivor of domestic abuse, of course they would never be forced to work on it. 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.”
As noted by the Daily Mail, Hachette is the parent company of Virago Press, which has famously published works from great women and feminist authors, including Maya Angelou, Beatrix Campbell, and Angela Carter. Despite the blowback, Hachette said in a statement on Tuesday that it stands by Rowling’s right to express her opinion.
“We are proud to publish JK Rowling’s children’s fairy tale The Ickabog. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of publishing,” the company said. “We fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to express their own thoughts and beliefs. That’s why we never comment on our authors’ personal views and we respect our employees’ right to hold a different view.”
“We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but 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,” the company added.
Rowling stirred another wave of the controversy earlier this month when she essentially 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. “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. Actress Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movies, and actor Rupert Grint, who played Ronald Weasley, have also announced their support for trans rights in defiance of Rowling.
As criticism mounted, Rowling penned an essay about her experiences as a woman, arguing 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.”
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