Graham Norton defends having JK Rowling on his show: ‘Am I the moral arbiter of the world?’

Graham Norton has defended his decision to host JK Rowling on his radio show despite the author’s history of anti-trans remarks.

Norton spoke to Rowling on his Virgin Radio show in August, as she promoted her latest crime novel, a move that surprised some LGBTQ+ fans.

Speaking to The Times, Norton said he felt not engaging with people simply because you disagree with them “feels wrong”.

“Am I suddenly the f**king moral arbiter of the world who says who can be on TV or can’t? No,” said Norton.

“People will be on my show and I’ll laugh with them and that will annoy some people, but not having them on seems just as bad.”

Graham Norton said he and JK Rowling would probably have different views on trans people, and while he said he “wouldn’t have her on to air her views, she has the right to still wang on about her crime novel”.

“The easiest thing would be to not have her on, but that didn’t seem right,” he added.

J K Rowling

JK Rowling. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

Rowling, who has become a figurehead of anti-trans rhetoric, recently released a book about a female fantasy cartoon creator hounded by online fans and accused of transphobia, before being murdered.

The author insisted the novel was not inspired by real life events.

Continuing on the same topic, the broadcaster admitted The Graham Norton Show show finds it “very hard to find a right-wing guest and, if you do, the audience probably don’t want to see them”.

Graham Norton attends the EE British Academy Film Awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 2 February, 2020. (Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Creators and writers of Six: The Musical, Lucy Marlowe and Toby Moss, pulled out of ab interview on Norton’s BBC radio show last year after finding out they shared a billing with Rowling.

“We want to apologise to anyone who was looking forward to hearing us being interviewed on the radio today,” Marlow and Moss wrote on Twitter.

“Sadly, we had to withdraw as we didn’t feel comfortable being on the same billing as JK Rowling. We strongly disagree with her transphobic views and statements, and we don’t want to feature as guests on a show where she is promoting her work until she has made significant efforts to make amends with the trans community.”

JK Rowling denies that she is transphobic.