Writers and actors including Ian McEwan and Griff Rhys Jones rally around JK Rowling amid onslaught of social media abuse and deaths threats over ‘transphobia’ row

  • A group of over 50 prominent literary figures signed letter in support of Rowling
  • Signatories include Booker winner Ian McEwan and actor Griff Rhys Jones
  • The letter was in response to the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending on social media over her latest novel

A group of some of Britian’s most prominent literary figures have signed a letter in support of JK Rowling after she received death threats on social media under the hashtag #RIPJKRowling.

A collection of over 50 actors, writers, playwrights, journalists joined together to pen a letter in response to ‘hate speech’ directed against Rowling. 

Signatories of the letter include Booker winner Ian McEwan, actor Griff Rhys Jones, actress Frances Barber and playwright Sir Tom Stoppard.

Prominent literary figures signed a letter in ‘solidarity’ with Harry Potter author JK Rowling, 55, after the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trended on social media, declaring her dead

In the letter, which was triggered in response to the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending at number one on Twitter, they said Rowling is a victim of ‘an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media’.

The letter wrote the hashtag declaring her dead on social media was ‘just the latest example of hate speech directed against her’. 

The Harry Potter author, 55, was subjected to bitter attacks from transgender activists following the publication of her latest novel, Troubled Blood.

The novel is published under Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith and features a ‘transvestite serial killer’, which sparked furious backlash online a day before the book’s release on September 15.  


Booker winner Ian McEwan (left) and actor Griff Rhys Jones (right) were among some of the signatories of the letter in response to ‘hate speech’ directed against Rowling

Transgender activists rushed to Twitter to declare Rowling ‘dead’, sending the hashtag #RIPJKRowling trending at number one in the UK. 

At the time, Piers Morgan wrote on Twitter: ‘The fact #RIPJKRowling is trending says all you need to know about the woke brigade – they’re nastier and more viciously intolerant than anyone they preach about.’

The latest abuse directed at Rowling comes after a drawn-out social media campaign against the author following her outspoken views on transgender matters.

The letter written in ‘solidarity’ with Rowling was published in the Sunday Times today and was signed by 58 signatories including fellow authors and other literary figures.


The letter read: ‘JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.’ It was also signed by playwright Sir Tom Stoppard (left) and actress Frances Barber (right)

Under the title, We Stand With JK Against Hate, it read: ‘JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.

‘Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person, and the appalling hashtag #RIPJKRowling is just the latest example of hate speech directed against her and other women that Twitter and other platforms enable and implicitly endorse.

‘We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.

‘We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.’  

Despite the controversy, Troubled Blood sold 64,633 copies in its first five days, nearly doubling the sales of its predecessor in the series over the same period. 

WE STAND WITH JK AGAINST HATE 

JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.

Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person, and the appalling hashtag #RIPJKRowling is just the latest example of hate speech directed against her and other women that Twitter and other platforms enable and implicitly endorse.

We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.

We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.

Ian McEwan, author; Lionel Shriver, author; Griff Rhys Jones, actor; Graham Linehan, writer; Maureen Chadwick, writer; Andrew Davies, writer; Frances Barber, actress; Craig Brown, writer; Alexander Armstrong, actor; Amanda Craig, writer; Philip Hensher, writer; Susan Hill, writer; Jane Thynne, writer; Ben Miller, actor; Simon Fanshawe, writer; James Dreyfus, actor; Frances Welch, writer; Francis Wheen, writer; Arthur Matthews, writer; Aminatta Forna, writer; Joan Smith, writer; Nick Cohen, journalist; Kath Gotts, composer & lyricist; Ann McManus, writer; Eileen Gallagher, writer & producer; Jimmy Mulville, producer; Lizzie Roper, actress; Stella O’Malley, author; Nina Paley, animator; Julie Bindel, journalist; Abigail Shrier, journalist; Rachel Rooney, author; Jane Harris, writer; Tatsuya Ishida, cartoonist; Lisa Marchiano, author; Zuby, musician and author; Debbie Hayton, journalist; Gillian Philip, Author, Jonny Best, musician; Manick Govinda, arts consultant; Russell Celyn Jones, writer; Magi Gibson, writer; Victoria Whitworth, writer; Dr Mez Packer, writer; Grace Carley, producer; Sam Leith, journalist; Malcolm Clark, television producer-director; Shirley Wishart, musician; Charlotte Delaney, writer; Nehanda Ferguson, musician; Justin Hill, writer; Trezza Azzopardi, writer; Birdy Rose, artist; Jess de Wahls, textile artist; Mo Lovatt, writer; Simon Edge, novelist; Tom Stoppard, playwright; and Amanda Smyth, writer  

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