Four authors quit JK Rowling's literary agency over company's refusal to support transgender rights

The resignation by the four authors comes in light of the renewed criticism that JK Rowling had garnered after she wrote an essay in an attempt to explain her views on the transgender community which had previously earned her tremendous backlash on social media.

FP Staff June 23, 2020 13:34:24 IST
Four authors quit JK Rowling's literary agency over company's refusal to support transgender rights

Four authors signed to The Blair Partnership, the same literary agency as that of author JK Rowling have resigned in protest at its refusal to stand up in support of transgender rights.

According to a CNN report, the authors, Drew Davies, Fox Fisher and Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir (aka Owl) said in a statement that they invited the agency to speak out, but that "they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful."

The statement by the four authors, one of whom has chosen to stay anonymous reads, "Freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed."

Four authors quit JK Rowlings literary agency over companys refusal to support transgender rights

Four authors belonging to the same literary agency as JK Rowling have resigned following the agency's refusal to speak up in support of transgender rights. Image via The Associated Press

This move comes in light of the renewed criticism that the Harry Potter author has garnered after she wrote an essay in an attempt to explain her views on the transgender community which had previously earned her tremendous backlash on social media.

A Guardian report adds that in response to this move by the authors, a spokeswoman for The Blair Partnership said that while it would continue to champion diverse voices and freedom of speech for all, it was not willing to have staff "re-educated" to meet the demands of a few clients.

The statement by the literary agency also stated, "We support the rights of all of our clients to express their thoughts and beliefs, and we believe in freedom of speech. Publishing and the creative arts are dependent on these things. It is our duty, as an agency to support all of our clients in this fundamental freedom and we do not comment on their individual views."

As per the same Guardian report, earlier this month, Rowling's staff at the publication house, Hachette was reportedly told that they could not refuse to work on her new children's book even as they objected to her views on transgender rights.

Read the full statement by the four authors here.

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