Harry Potter British author JK Rowling has reacted angrily to Vladimir Putin’s citation of her in a wide-ranging speech in which he criticized “cancel culture.”
Putin compared recent criticism of the Harry Potter author to that faced by pro-war Russian composers and writers during a televised meeting on Friday.
Vladimir Putin slammed the West’s so-called cancel culture, saying it was “impossible to imagine” such a thing happening in Russia. He mentioned J.K. Rowling, the author of “Harry Potter,” as someone who had been “cancelled” due to her stance on sex and gender rights.
Putin has accused the West of discriminating against Russian culture, comparing the treatment of Russian cultural figures to that of “cancelled” author.
In the televised meeting with leading cultural figures on Friday, Putin said the west was attempting to “cancel a whole 1,000-year culture, our people,” citing cancellations of Russian artists’ events in protest of Ukraine’s invasion.
In response, Rowling condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, claiming that Russia was “slaughtering civilians.” Rowling distanced herself from Putin’s remarks on Friday by tweeting a BBC article about imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The Harry Potter author tweeted the message indicating the distancing with the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine.
Rowling has become a controversial figure as a result of her public views on transgender people, with numerous comments over the last few years drawing widespread criticism, including from the cast members of the Harry Potter films. She recently accused Sir Keir Starmer of misrepresenting equalities law, after the Labour leader stated that “trans women are women” according to the statute.
Comparing Hollywood’s alleged underestimation of the Red Army’s achievements during WWII to Nazi book burnings in the 1930s, Putin then accused the West of ‘discriminating’ against ‘everything to do with Russia’ – before comparing himself to the plight of the British author.
Putin has long sought to portray Russia as a pariah state victimized by a capricious West, but his rhetoric has been significantly amplified since the outbreak of war.