JK Rowling returns award after the author is slammed for 'transphobic tweets'

JK Rowling has returned an award she was given by the US Kennedy family after she was criticised for her views on transgender rights.

The Harry Potter writer was handed the Ripple of Hope award by the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organisation last year.

But Kerry Kennedy, daughter of former US senator Robert F Kennedy, recently hit back at the author’s “deeply troubling transphobic tweets” in a statement earlier this month.

Rowling said that she ‘refutes’ the accusation and has vowed to return the award handed to her by Kennedy.

In a statement, the 55-year-old writer said: “Kerry Kennedy, president of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, recently felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views on RFKHR’s website.

“The statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people.

“As a long standing donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people’s right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community.

She added: “In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year.”

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is among those to have slammed JK Rowling for her views on trans people

JK Rowling has been embroiled in a row over trans rights after taking issue with an article discussing “people who menstruate” in June this year.

The author later addressed the controversy in a lengthy essay in which she expressed her ‘concern’ about the “huge explosion in young women wishing to transition”.

Her views have been slammed by the likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne.

Writing on the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights website, Kerry Kennedy said: “Over the course of June 2020 – LGBTQ Pride Month – and much to my dismay, JK Rowling posted deeply troubling transphobic tweets and statements.

“Almost a week later, she wrote a series of tweets that had the effect of degrading trans people’s lived experiences.”

She added: “I have spoke with JK 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 non binary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community.”

The writer’s handprints were smeared with red paint outside Edinburgh’s City Chambers

JK Rowling was given the Ripple of Hope award in December 2019. The award recognises those who demonstrate commitment to social change and reflect on Robert F Kennedy’s drive for social justice.

Previous recipients of the award include former US President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and U2 frontman Bono.


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