No, J.K. Rowling Did Not Win 2021 'Person of the Year' Poll, Leading it to be Closed Down

Contrary to internet rumors, author J.K. Rowling was not voted "Person of the Year 2021" by readers of British newspaper The Guardian, nor was there a poll hastily pulled from its website when it appeared the Harry Potter scribe would win.

A Guardian article from December 15 called on readers to suggest their own nominations for Person of the Year, after Tesla boss Elon Musk was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year. Readers were invited to fill in a form with their nominations.

Some Twitter users then claimed that the publication held a poll that saw Rowling the most-voted for individual, leading to the poll being pulled.

A line at the bottom of the original article reads "this form has been deactivated and is closed to any further submissions," which was used by hoaxers as "evidence" of there being a pulled poll..

A Guardian News and Media spokesperson informed Newsweek that there was no poll and dismissed comments from social media.

The spokesperson said: "Contrary to what you may have read on Twitter, there was no poll, and the Guardian does not run a person of the year feature.

"Nothing has been canceled. We regularly invite readers to share their views on issues in the news."

Some social media users have also shared a screenshot of a fake Guardian article announcing Rowling as Person of the Year 2021.

Rowling has been mired in controversy throughout 2021 over a series of comments that many view as transphobic. In 2020, she wrote an essay on her personal website that included "five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism."

On Wednesday the author addressed a Conservative news website's tweet that announced: "Most Americans agree with J.K. Rowling, there are only two genders."

Rowling responded: "Small but important point: I've never said there are only two genders. There are innumerable gender identities."

She added: "The question at the heart of this debate is whether sex or gender identity should form the basis of decisions on safeguarding, provision of services, sporting categories and other areas where women and girls currently have legal rights and protections."

A petition has been started by supporters of Rowling on Ipetitions.com, that has already received 25,000 signatories. The petition prominently displays a quote from the first Harry Potter book: "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

J.K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling attends HBO's "Finding The Way Home" world premiere at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. J.K Rowling was set to win the Guardian's person of the year award but the poll was closed down. Angela Weiss/Getty