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8 Mar, 2024 14:32

Transgender broadcaster reports J.K. Rowling to police

The Harry Potter author has threatened to file a harassment claim in response amid the ongoing feud
Transgender broadcaster reports J.K. Rowling to police

British police have confirmed having received a complaint after a transgender broadcaster said she had reported Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for “misgendering” comments on social media, Reuters has reported. 

In an interview on Wednesday, India Willoughby, a British transgender journalist and reality TV personality, alleged that Rowling committed a hate crime by misgendering her, and said that she had contacted the police about Rowling’s comments on X (formerly Twitter).

Willoughby, who became the first transgender host on the popular talk-show Loose Women, was referring to a comment that Rowling had made earlier this week in response to another X user. “India didn’t become a woman. India is cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is,” Rowling wrote.

“Calling a trans person a man, deliberately knowing that that person is a woman – and I am a woman regardless of what J.K. Rowling says ... my birth certificate says female, my passport, all my documents, I am legally recognised as a woman, and for J.K. Rowling to deliberately, and that is the key word, misgender me knowing who I am, is grossly offensive,” Willoughby, who is also a former ‘Celebrity Big Bother’ contestant, told independent news publisher Byline TV. 

Rowling has rejected the allegation, saying that it was not a crime to hold gender-critical views. The acclaimed writer took to X to accuse Willoughby of “obsessive targeting” that “may meet the legal threshold for harassment.” She also referred to a recent court case that established that gender-critical views are considered a protected philosophical belief under the British Equality Act. 

Rowling went as far as to describe Willoughby as “a classic example of the male narcissist who lives in a state of perpetual rage.” 

This comes as part of a years-long social media feud between Willoughby and Rowling, who repeatedly refers to the TV personality as “he” on social media.

Rowling has become a controversial figure on transgender issues and on defining what a woman is. This has opened her up to criticism from some trans activists and celebrities, including the stars of the Harry Potter films, but has earned her the vocal support of women’s rights campaigners.