JK Rowling’s various beefs have apparently evolved from involving “most of the pro-LGBTQ internet” to one of America’s most notable political families. The Harry Potter author reportedly returned an award to a Kennedy human rights organization as part of the fallout from her recent spate of poor press regarding activity on social media.
Deadline reported on Friday that Rowling — who has penned a number of tweets and long essays about said tweets that have generally been described as transphobic, including by Harry Potter actors and others associated with the movies and books — returned the humanitarian award the Kennedy family gave her less than a year ago. The move came after Kerry Kennedy, president of The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Organization that awarded the humanitarian honor to Rowling last December, criticized Rowling and her anti-trans rights comments in the context of the organization itself.
Kennedy had directly expressed “profound disappointment” over the ongoing saga:
I have spoken with J.K. Rowling to express my profound disappointment that she has chosen to use her remarkable gifts to create a narrative that diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community—one that disproportionately suffers from violence, discrimination, harassment, and exclusion and, as a result, experiences high rates of suicide, suicide attempts, homelessness, and mental and bodily harm. Black trans women and trans youth in particular are targeted.
On Thurdsay, Rowling published a 600-word statement about the award on her website entitled “Statement from J.K. Rowling regarding the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Award.” In it, the author denied that her thoughts are transphobic.
It’s the latest instance where Rowling has distanced herself from those who have criticized her, even after initially showing support for them or accepting their praise. Earlier in the summer, for example, she deleted praise for author Stephen King after he criticized her stance on trans rights.