JK Rowling says she ‘never set out to upset anyone’ over transgender views

JK Rowling at the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premiere. Credit: PA

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has said she “never set out to upset anyone” over her past comments on transgender issues.

The 57-year-old has taken part in a new podcast series, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, which will be released later this month.

Speaking in the trailer to podcast host, Megan Phelps-Roper, the author said: “I never set out to upset anyone. However I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.

“And what has interested me over the last 10 years, and certainly over the past few years, two, three years, particularly on social media, ‘You’ve ruined your legacy. You could have been beloved forever but you chose to say this’.

“And I think, you could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.”

JK Rowling has previously been criticised for her staunch views on gender identity, which she has shared on social media.

She previously tweeted that she has received “so many death threats I could paper the house with them”.

In a series of tweets about the upcoming podcast series, JK Rowling said she had agreed to take part in the project, after being approached by the former member of the Westboro Baptist Church because she felt the pair could have a “real, interesting, two-sided conversation that might prove constructive”.

JK Rowling's comments on the podcast come shortly after the release of the highly-anticipated video game Hogwarts Legacy.

The open world adventure game, which is set prior to the novel series, in the 1800s, has attracted controversy online – with many fans calling for it to be boycotted due to Rowling’s views on gender.

Hogwarts Legacy, which topped gaming charts, has broken records for the most streams of a single game with 1.28 million concurrent users, according to Forbes.

Stars of the Harry Potter film franchise Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have spoken out against her views previously.

The author has also said she was partly motivated to speak out about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

She has strongly denied accusations of transphobia.

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