BBC to ‘renew’ JK Rowling’s Strike series after issuing apology over her trans views

JK Rowling

The BBC is reportedly preparing to adapt JK Rowling’s latest Strike novel, which focuses on a children author’s fall from grace and eventual murder.

Deadline’s international investigations editor Jake Kanter reported on Tuesday (7 March) that the BBC is preparing to renew crime drama Strike for a sixth series. 

Based on Rowling’s Cormoran Strike book series – which she writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith – the novels and subsequent television series follow private detective Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin Ellacott. 

Kanter says that while a “deal is yet to be done”, the BBC is allegedly enthusiastic about another series. 

The new series would follow the plot of the latest novel, The Ink Black Heart, which was published in August. 

The book focuses on Edie Ledwell, the creator of a popular YouTube cartoon series, who is hounded by accusations of using racist and ableist tropes in their work and is killed. 

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Striking similarities to JK Rowling’s life

Many critics quickly pointed out the apparent parallels between Rowling’s own experiences of controversy, after making countless comments that some have considered to be anti-trans, and the plight of Edie in the novel. But Rowling told The Independent that the book’s story line “genuinely wasn’t” inspired by her own life. 

The announcement comes just weeks after the BBC was forced to apologise to the Harry Potter author, who was accused of being transphobic on a radio programme. In February, a discussion about video game Hogwarts Legacy took place on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland. During the broadcast, trans writer Carrie Marshall said she has boycotted the game, saying some people believe it to be funding “the anti-trans movement”.

Numerous complaints were made about the comments and the BBC issued an apology, saying editorial standards were not met. 

“The debate got into the issue of gender identity and claims were made about JK Rowling’s views,” a BBC statement read. “We accept that the programme failed to challenge these claims and acknowledge that our contributors gave their opinion as fact.”

JK Rowling has consistently denied she is transphobic.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

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