J.K. Rowling, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Noam Chomsky and more have signed an open letter on Harpers calling for the end of cancel culture.
The letter warns against the development of “censoriousness” and “an intolerance of opposing views”.
Rowling, who has recently spoken of her views on transgender rights and has sparked a controversial discussion, said on Twitter that she was “proud to sign this letter in defence of a foundational principle of a liberal society: open debate and freedom of thought and speech.”
The letter acknowledges “powerful protests for racial and social justice”, but says “this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set or moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity.”
Donald Trump is acknowledged in the letter as “a real threat to democracy”, but the argument then outlines “the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides”.
J.K. Rowling has been reiterating her views on trans people in the last few weeks, saying last week (July 5) that transgender hormone therapy is “a new kind of conversion therapy” for young gay people.
“Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function,” the Harry Potter author tweeted.
Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalisation that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function. 5/11
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 5, 2020
Several actors from the Harry Potter franchise have distanced themselves from Rowling’s comments, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Bonnie Wright and Eddie Redmayne.