Publishing staff working on J.K. Rowling’s new children’s book, The Ickabog, threatened to down tools yesterday in protest of her continued transphobic online rants.
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment,” Radcliffe, 30, wrote in an essay published by The Trevor Project on Monday, June 8. “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
And now the staff at the Hatchette Book Group publishing company are reportedly rebelling against the 54-year-old author.
“Staff in the children’s department at Hachette announced they were no longer prepared to work on the book,” said one source. “They said they were opposed to her comments and wanted to show support for the trans lobby.”
Another said, “It was a handful of staff, and they are entitled to their views…. 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.”
Hatchette said in a statement that it was “proud” to publish Rowling’s fairy tale and said it respected its employees’ right to hold views different from their authors.
But while the company said it would never force employees to work on books whose content they found upsetting for personal reasons, it said, “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.”
Last month, Rowling accidentally copied and pasted transphobic text and an f-bomb into her reaction to a 9-year-old’s drawing of an Ickabog, a fairy tale creature.
Rowling later apologized for sending an f-bomb tweet to a child but has yet to apologize for her transphobic tweets.