Harry Potter author JK Rowling says she’s giving back her human rights award because the president of the organisation criticised her anti-trans comments.
Rowling received the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation’s Ripple of Hope award last year for her work in helping to protect children’s rights by illustrating the abuse often seen in the orphanage system. But now it looks like she could be handing back the award because the president of the organisation doesn’t agree with her comments towards the trans community.
Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert Kennedy and president of the organisation, clearly doesn’t agree with Rowling’s comments and criticised her for targeting the already-vulnerable community with her “transphobic” comments.
“JK Rowling’s attacks upon the transgender community are inconsistent with the fundamental beliefs and values of RFK Human Rights and represent a repudiation of my father’s vision,” Kennedy said in a statement.
Following the statement, Rowling took to her own website to publish a lengthy response, in which she denounces the idea that she is transphobic and condemned the actions of Kennedy in calling her out.
“RFKHR has stated that there is no conflict between the current radical trans rights movement and the rights of women. The thousands of women who’ve got in touch with me disagree, and, like me, believe this clash of rights can only be resolved if more nuance is permitted in the debate,” the statement, in part, read.
“In solidarity with those who have contacted me but who are struggling to make their voices heard, and because of the very serious conflict of views between myself and RFKHR, I feel I have no option but to return the Ripple of Hope Award bestowed upon me last year. I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience.”
The Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award is given to people who have “demonstrated a commitment to social change”, with past recipients including former President Barack Obama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and George Clooney among others.Image: Getty Images / Bennett Raglin