Furious New York Times readers blast ad 'cancelling' JK Rowling amid transphobia row

19 February 2022, 11:19

Some people have cancelled their subscription to the New York Times after an advert readers said tried to 'cancel' JK Rowling
Some people have cancelled their subscription to the New York Times after an advert readers said tried to 'cancel' JK Rowling. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Furious readers of the New York Times (NYT) have criticised the paper for an advert suggesting JK Rowling should be erased from the Harry Potter franchise, with some cancelling their subscriptions as a result.

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The advert, which shows a woman looking into the distance with the caption "Lianna is Imagining Harry Potter Without Its Creator", has been displayed on electronic boards in a metro station in Washington D.C., according to the Mail Online.

Images of the advert were shared on social media, prompting critics to hit out at the board for 'cancelling' the author and showing a lack of respect to women.

"So I cancelled my @nytimes sub because it tried to cancel @jk_rowling," wrote author Susan Dalgety on Twitter.

"Even the offer of a year’s sub for $0.25 a week couldn’t persuade me to stay with a newspaper that is so contemptuous of women that it celebrates cancelling a female author in its ads."

Another wrote: "Imagining taking a creation away from a woman.

"Imagine taking an invention away from a woman.

"Imagine taking an idea away from a woman.

"Or thoughts away from a woman. Or words.

"The ability to define herself.

"Imagine taking away rights from women."

They ended their post with the hashtag 'NYTimesHatesWomen'.

Read more: School dumps JK Rowling name over trans views and replaces her with Dame Kelly Holmes

Read more: Quidditch could have name changed in JK Rowling trans row

Others have made the comparison to articles posted by the newspaper, with one Twitter user writing: "Now that @nytimes has decreed that @jk_rowling should be divorced from Harry Potter I’m assuming it won’t mind me divorcing its journalists from their articles?

"Y’know, now that intellectual property rights mean f*** all to them?"

"J. K. Rowling is standing up for women to be called 'women'."

The NYT has also been accused of "endorsing" the threatening communications the Harry Potter author has received as a result of her views.

"Dear @nytimes, why are you endorsing and amplifying the terrifying and unhinged murderous threats against JK Rowling by the mentally deranged?" Wrote author Mandy Stadtmiller.

"@jk_rowling is a [domestic violence] survivor who has sustained years of these sick threats which you are now complicit in. This is sick and inexcusable."

Watch: James O'Brien grills caller who attempts to defend JK Rowling's trans comments

Read more: 'Delete it': JK Rowling hits back after trans activists post photo of her home and address

JK Rowling has been embroiled in a row about her views on trans people for over a year.

In 2020 she tweeted criticising an article for avoiding using the word "women", and instead opting for "people who menstruate", causing people to label her transphobic.

Since then she has defended her views, raising concerns about "the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning", and branding it "misogynistic" to deny "the importance of [biological] sex".

"I want trans women to be safe," she wrote, explaining her opposition to allowing "any man who believes or feels he's a woman" into female changing rooms and bathrooms.

"At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe."

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