JK Rowling's New Book Is Being Accused of Transphobia—And Hagrid Is Not the Only One Defending Her

With the announcement of her latest book, Troubled Blood, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's transphobia accusations have resurfaced again, but Robbie Coltrane, who plays Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, came to her defense.

In a review from The Telegraph, Rowling's latest novel under her pen name Robert Galbraith focuses on "a transvestite serial killer" (better described as "a murderous cis man who dresses a woman to kill his victims," by Pink News) The review says that the novel's main message appears to be "never trust a man in a dress."

In June, Rowling came under fire for tweeting about an article that she said "erased" women. "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. 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. It isn't hate to speak the truth," she wrote in a thread. Rowling later wrote a lengthy blog post where she doubled down and defended her remarks regarding sex and biology.

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 - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense.

— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020

The remarks led to actors from the Harry Potter series like Evanna Lynch, Emma Watson, and even the Boy Who Lived Himself, Daniel Radcliffe to show their support for the Trans community, with some even publicly distancing themselves from the author.

When the subject matter of Rowling's recent book was made known, people again called for the author to be cancelled.

I’ll stop tweeting about wanting JK Rowling to shut up when she stops wanting my Trans friends and family to die ✌️

— Siobhan Thompson, mysterious European heiress (@vornietom) September 15, 2020


Understanding is the first step to acceptance @jk_rowling and only with acceptance can there be recovery

It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!

Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving!

— JEDWARD (@planetjedward) September 15, 2020

Remember when the actors who played JK Rowling’s characters all told her to knock it off like she was the evil author in a goddamn episode of twilight zone being scolded by her own magical characters and she still didn’t knock it off

— Daniel Kibblesmith (@kibblesmith) September 15, 2020

With people on Twitter began calling out Rowling's recent story, Coltrane did defend the author. In an interview with Radio Times(reported by Huffpost), Coltrane briefly remarked on Rowling's recent statements. "I don't think what she said was offensive really. I don't know why but there's a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended," he said. "They wouldn't have won the war, would they? That's me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, 'Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.'"

The actor continued that he didn't want to get into the controversy too much because of "hate mail and all that s**t, which I don't need at my time of life." It's also worth noting that he didn't reference Rowling's latest release specifically.

Coltrane wasn't the only person to dismiss the criticisms that came against Rowling. A number of people jumped to the author's support on Twitter with the new book's announcement. Reporter Kim Willsher asked if everyone had "gone mad," pointing out that the book has yet to be released and that the book doesn't seem to be focused on a trans-woman serial killer.

Has the world gone mad?
1. JK Rowling's new book isn't out yet so all these people calling for her to die haven't read it.
2. The villain is reportedly (I haven't read it either) a MAN who dresses as a woman to kill not a transwoman so how is this transphobic? https://t.co/OWDgztfmB8

— Kim Willsher (@kimwillsher1) September 15, 2020

I'm really troubled by the JK Rowling news cycle. It looks like the Telegraph published a review with a clickbait headline. That got followed up by Pink News, who presented it in the most culture war terms possible. Two publications monetising outrage.

— Helen Lewis (@helenlewis) September 15, 2020

Periodic reminder that authors can write about whatever they like. You don't own JK Rowling's pen.

I had this go-round with my first novel 25 years ago. My view now is the same as my view then.

If you don't like what we write, don't buy our books. [1]

— Helen Dale (@_HelenDale) September 15, 2020

Good to see Robbie Coltrane defending JK Rowling.

All sensible adults understand the extent to which she has been misrepresented.

If everyone simply had the courage to say what they know to be true, this anti-JK mania might actually come to an end.https://t.co/9efXhh46yv

— Andrew Doyle (@andrewdoyle_com) September 15, 2020

Rowling's publicist did not respond to Newsweek's emailed requests for comment in time for publication. A representative for Coltrane declined to comment.

JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling attends the premiere of "Finding the Way Home" at Hudson Yards on December 11, 2019 in New York City. Rowling has been accused of transphobia again for the subject matter of her latest book. Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty