Four of “Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling’s fellow authors at U.K. writing agency The Blair Partnership have resigned, expressing dissatisfaction that the company did not issue a statement supporting transgender rights.
The authors include Drew Davies, Ugla Stefanía Kristjonudottir Jonsdottir, Fox Fisher, and a fourth who preferred to stay anonymous. They issued a statement detailing the reasons for their resignation.
“This decision is not made lightly, and we are saddened and disappointed it has come to this,” the statement read. “After J. K. Rowling’s — who is also signed to the agency — public comments on transgender issues, we reached out to the agency with an invitation to reaffirm their stance to transgender rights and equality. After our talks with them, we felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful. Freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed.”
“We stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA — and allied — staff in all areas of publishing who are working incredibly hard to champion diverse voices and experiences to challenge the homogeneity of the industry,” the statement continued.
“But the issues of inequality and oppression are far reaching, from racism to ableism and sexism. Agencies and publishers need to create platforms for underrepresented groups from the ground up and make meaningful change within their culture. Representation must extend into real and authentic representation of diverse voices.”
The authors note that “trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”
The group has said it will make a collective donation to Shakti Women’s Aid, a charity that supports BAME women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.
The Blair Partnership said in response that while they took pride in the diversity of their authors’ views and believed in freedom of speech for all, they would not re-educate staff to meet the demands of a few clients.
The resigned authors’ profiles are no longer on The Blair Partnership’s clients page, which continues to be headlined by Rowling.
Earlier, staff at Rowling’s publisher Hachette were informed that they couldn’t refuse to work on her new book “The Ickabog.”