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JK Rowling’s New Book ‘Troubled Blood’ With A ‘Transvestite Serial Killer’ Has Critics And Fans Calling Out Her Transphobia, Again

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If you’re a hardcore Harry Potter fan like I am, now would be a good time to retract deep in your memories of how amazing the magical world of the boy wizard was, and how much we loved its creator JK Rowling for introducing it to us. Because what’s happening out there in the real world might make you doubt your adoration of the woman who made kids and adults fall in love with reading all over again. The author has been in the news lately for more negative reasons—such as her unnecessary retrofittings to the Harry Potter canon and her transphobic tweets—than positive ones. And now, there’s yet another strike in that section, with her latest novel in the Cormoran Strike series, Troubled Blood, which she writes under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, being called out by critics and fans alike for reeking of transphobia.

File:JK Rowling 1999.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Basically, everyone’s just wondering why those tweets not enough that Rowling had to write a whole novel about it?

The Cormoran Strike books are a British crime fiction series written by Rowling pseudonymously, and chronicle the cases of private detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacott. Troubled Blood, the fifth book in the series, has released today, September 15. Early reviews of the book, though, are already out, and let’s just say, following up those transphobic tweets with a novel about a cis male who dresses up as a woman to murder women is not going to do you any favours. Was the transphobia a promotional act for when this book comes out, or did the phobia just subconsciously float through into the book too?

The Telegraph, which published one of the early reviews of the book says that a major chunk of the novel is devoted to an investigation into a cold case from 1974, which involves the disappearance of a woman, believed to be a victim of a ‘transvestite serial killer’. The review sums up the 900-page book’s essence in to one sentence that doesn’t bode well for JK Rowling: “One wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress.”

Also Read: J.K. Rowling’s Transphobic Tweets Are A Disservice To Her Own Work And It’s Got Harry Potter Fans Miffed

Once the review went viral, a Twitter storm was unleashed, attacking the regressive views of the author. What’s worse, is that she was even criticised for plagiarising the whole ‘cross-dressing cis male serial killer’ concept from the plot of Ace Ventura and Michael Caine’s Dressed To Kill.

Columnist Paris Lees penned an entire thread no how damaging JK Rowling’s ‘transvestite serial killer’ trope could actually be, considering crimes against trans people are on a steady rise, with no justice dealt.

Also Read: JK Rowling Pens A Lengthy Essay Justifying Her Transphobia, Saying She’s A Survivor Of Sexual Assault. It’s Still An Incoherent Argument

Another user pointed out that they’re kind of glad that JK Rowling isn’t hiding her transphobia, because imagine justifying writing an entire book on it and then saying they aren’t transphobic!

But I think all my feelings of being a JK Rowling fan and mightily disappointed in her for her comments gets perfectly summed up in this tweet by Ariel Cheung.

Oh and this too….

I’m not a huge fan of cancel culture, so I won’t personally endorse the trolling and #RIPJKRowling trends on Twitter right now. However, the pain felt by a major chunk of her fans who feel hurt by Rowling’s views on trans people resonates loudly enough through all the chaos. Several Harry Potter movie stars, including Emma Watson, have condemned Rowling’s views on the matter.

However, Robbie Coltrane, who played the loveable half-man half-giant gamekeeper of Hogwarts, Rubeus Hagrid, has spoken up in her defence.

Talking to Radio Times, he said, “I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended. They wouldn’t have won the war, would they?”

Sigh. Unfortunately, for people like me, for whom Harry Potter is life and JK Rowling a role model, this is no longer a question of whether we are able to separate the art from the artist. It is about growing up and realising that no hero is absolute, and we must only trust our own skepticism (like Hermione would’ve done) and choose a side that we can make peace with.

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