JK Rowling criticised for praising ‘dangerous’ anti-trans film by far-right bigot Matt Walsh

JK Rowling praises self-described 'facist' Matt Walsh

JK Rowling has attracted criticism for praising the work of anti-trans commentator Matt Walsh during a Twitter spat.

The exchange took place after Walsh weighed in on Macy Gray rowing back on the trans-exclusionary remarks she made in an interview with Piers Morgan on 4 July, following backlash.

The singer said that trans women are who they say they are “regardless of what anyone says or thinks”, having previously argued that trans women aren’t women.

“Sorry but women who publicly renounce the definition of ‘woman’ for fear of mean comments from trans activists deserve all the scorn they get,” Walsh tweeted on Saturday (9 July). “That kind of gutless cowardice is exactly what got us into this position in the first place.”

Rowling appeared to disagree, tweeting in response: “Endless death and rape threats, threats of loss of livelihood, employers targeted, physical harassment, family address posted online with picture of bomb-making manual aren’t ‘mean comments’. If you don’t yet understand what happens to women who stand up on this issue, back off.”

Walsh replied that he “respected the courage” shown by Rowling “on this issue”. In turn, Rowling praised Walsh’s recent documentary What is a Woman? for “exposing the incoherence of gender identity theory and some of the harms it’s done”.

The Daily Wire film features Walsh asking “what is a woman?” to a variety of people including a paediatrician, a surgeon who specialises in gender-reaffirming surgery, and controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson.

The film has been called “transphobic” by Rolling Stone and “dangerous” by LGBTQ Nation, which said it “provides ammunition for those who seek to deprive transgender people of access to affirming and life-saving healthcare.”

Walsh, the author of Johnny the Walrus, a notorious anti-trans children’s book, has become known for describing himself as a “theocratic facist” – a label that has been directed at him previously by his critics.

In a blog post explaining his use of the label, which he uses in his Twitter bio, Walsh claims that it could be an “obviously sarcastic joke”, or it could be a “completely literal and sincere statement without the slightest hint of irony or sarcasm”.

Rowling praising the work of such a person attracted significant criticism.


JK Rowling has faced criticism for her views on trans rights since 2019, when she came out in support of “gender critical” campaigner Maya Forstater.

She then posted series of tweets on inclusive language for periods in 2020 in response to an article exploring period care for “people who menstruate”.

“‘People who menstruate’,” she wrote. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The author followed this up in June 2020 with her lengthy, now-notorious “TERF Wars” essay, in which she laid out her opposition to “the current trans activism”. She has shared her “gender critical” views regularly and at length since.

Several former Harry Potter stars have now either criticised Rowling’s views or distanced themselves from her, with Bonnie Wright the latest to express that she no longer wants to talk about the author.

She denies that she is transphobic.

PinkNews contacted JK Rowling for comment.