J. K. Rowling has again fallen victim to ‘cancel culture’ after a literary festival in New Zealand scrapped plans for a Harry Potter-themed event over her comments on gender issues.
Peter Biggs, chairman of the Wairarapa book festival, reportedly decided to drop the annual children’s quiz that is usually held on the boy wizard following consultations with the LGBTQ community.
It is not the first time that Ms Rowling has been ‘cancelled’ as a result of expressing her views on whether men who identify as women are the same as biological females.
The 55-year-old author has faced ongoing accusations of transphobia after publishing a blog post in which she argued that biological sex is real.
She also took issue with an article referring to ‘people who menstruate’, posting the withering tweet: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
Her comments led to a torrent of abuse on social media and calls for her books to be boycotted.
Further criticism followed from a string of famous names, including the young actors made famous by her Harry Potter films – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Last night Toby Young, founder of the Free Speech Union, which is due to open its first branch in New Zealand next week, said: ‘J. K. Rowling is one of Britain’s most influential and respectable contemporary writers.
‘This is why the decision by the Wairarapa book festival to cancel a children’s Harry Potter quiz because of comments J. K. Rowling made during an important debate on women’s only spaces is chilling.
‘If the creator of our most successful export since James Bond can be declared persona non grata, anyone can.’