BBC apologises to JK Rowling after gamers accused her of transphobia on air
The BBC has issued an apology to author JK Rowling after she was accused of transphobia by two trans people on a radio programme.
Several complaints were reportedly made after a discussion about the controversial video game, Hogwarts Legacy, took place on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland.
The game has been the subject of a backlash because of its association with Rowling’s views on trans rights.
The criticism increased following the announcement that the game would feature a trans character, Sirona Ryan, whom many see as “insincere” representation.
During the BBC broadcast, trans writer Carrie Marshall said she has boycotted the game, saying some people believe it to be funding “the anti-trans movement”.
She added: “This is having a measurable effect on trans peoples’ lives and potentially our safety. I think that’s why so many people are concerned about this game.”
You may like to watch
Rowling earns royalties from Hogwarts Legacy despite not being involved in its creation, which has made trans people concerned about the success of the game.
She has been criticised for making several claims considered to be anti-trans, including standing with anti-trans pundit Maya Forstater and wishing so-called “gender-critical” individuals a “merry Terfmas“.
After reviewing the complaints, the BBC released a statement saying that the comments did not meet its editorial standards.
“The debate got into the issue of gender identity and claims were made about JK Rowling’s views,” it read.
“We accept that the programme failed to challenge these claims and acknowledge that our contributors gave their opinion as fact.”
A similar incident occurred on Radio 4’s PM earlier this month after the trans editor of TheGamer, Stacey Henley, criticised Rowling for her “nasty views”.
She said the Harry Potter author was pushing transphobia and had been campaigning against trans people.
After receiving more than 200 complaints, the BBC apologised, saying that it had presented an “unfair characterisation” of Rowling’s views.
“We do accept that there wasn’t sufficient challenge to the claims that were made and that we fell short here.
“This is a difficult and contentious area which we try very hard to cover fairly and well,” the earlier BBC statement read.
Click here to join our new PinkNews Alerts WhatsApp group for daily digests of our top LGBTQ+ news and features.
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.