JK Rowling insists that the controversy stemming from her comments about trans women was not the reason that she did not participate in the recent HBO reunion of Harry Potter cast members.
The famed author was conspicuously absent from “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” the cast reunion that debuted on HBO Max this year.
Rowling told Irish television host Graham Norton earlier this week that she elected not to participate.
She dismissed Norton’s suggestion that the author was “excluded” from the reunion.
“I was asked to be on that,” Rowling told Norton. The interview was reported by Insider.
“I decided I didn’t want to do it. I thought it was about the films more than the books, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about.”
Rowling, who became a billionaire after she wrote the best-selling seven-volume series of children’s books that was later adapted to a blockbuster movie franchise, has been a subject of controversy on social media over her stance on transgender women.
In 2020, Rowling penned an essay defending her previous comments wading into the hot-button issue of gender status and transgender people.
“When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman … then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside,” Rowling wrote.
In June 2020, she criticized a news article that referred to “people who menstruate” instead of “women.”
In subsequent tweets, Rowling held firm on her stance.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” she 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.”
Rowling added: “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 — i.e., to male violence — ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequence — is a nonsense.”
Rowling was labeled online as a “TERF” — which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” — or someone who advocates for women’s rights while excluding transgender women.
The fierce backlash to Rowling’s comments prompted “Harry Potter” stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne to criticize her.
Rowling told Norton that she remains in touch with some of the film’s cast members — “some more than others.”