The spat began after Rowling expressed concern for “The Satanic Verses” author Salman Rushdie when he was attacked and received a death threat on Twitter. Harris, who is the head of the U.K.’s Society of Authors, had expressed support for Rowling “and to everyone in a similar position.”
In response, Rowling told The Times that she had “received no communication whatsoever from Harris expressing sympathy for the death and rape threats I’ve received.”
“Harris has consistently failed to criticize tactics designed to silence and intimidate women who disagree with her personal position on gender identity ideology and has said publicly, ‘Cancel isn’t a dirty word. We habitually cancel things we no longer want,’ ” Rowling told The Times.
In response Harris said: “I’ve always said loud and clear that I condemn threats of any kind, to anyone. That goes for people whose views I disagree with as well as those whose views I share. Free speech is for everyone, and when one person loses it, we’re all at risk.”
Harris has a trans son, while Rowling has posted against the use of the phrase “people who menstruate” instead of women. People on Twitter interpreted that position as being transphobic.
“Yes, I support trans rights. I also have a son who came out as trans a few months ago. But my personal feelings about the gender-critical movement don’t affect my belief in free speech, or what I do for the @Soc_of_Authors,” Harris tweeted.
Yes, I support trans rights. I also have a son who came out as trans a few months ago. But my personal feelings about the gender-critical movement don't affect my belief in free speech, or what I do for the @Soc_of_Authors.
— Joanne Harris (@Joannechocolat) August 16, 2022
“Chocolat” was adapted as a 2000 film, starring Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche, by Lasse Hallström.