BBC apologizes for guest claim about JK Rowling — RT Games & Culture
The broadcaster said its host should have done more to confront a guest who accused the Harry Potter author of transphobia
The BBC has apologized for its host not sufficiently challenging a guest’s claim that Harry Potter author JK Rowling spread transphobic views. The statement came after listeners complained about last week’s BBC Radio 4 show, which featured Stacey Henley – a trans woman and editor of TheGamer website.
On Thursday, Henley accused Rowling of “transphobia” and lead a “campaign against trans people.”
Host Evan Davis replied: “Obviously JK Rowling…wouldn’t say she’s transphobic.”
Davis and Henley were discussing the upcoming “Hogwarts Legacy” video game, which some fans have vowed to boycott because of Rowling’s opinions.
According to the Daily Mail, the BBC received more than 100 complaints about the host’s conduct during the interview. Davis said the criticism was “fair.” He wrote on Twitter shortly after the show that he should have made it clear that the guest’s opinion was his own and that it was “strongly disputed”.
In a statement on Monday, the BBC acknowledged that “there was not enough challenge to the claims that were made and that we failed here.”
“This is a difficult and controversial area which we strive to cover fairly and well on the BBC,” the statement read. “However, we should have challenged Stacey Henley more directly on her claims and apologized for not doing so.”
Over 500 million Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide since the first novel was published in 1997. The franchise has spawned a string of blockbuster movies and games.
In recent years, Rowling has come under fire from activists, who call her a “trans-exclusive radical feminist”. In a 2020 blog post, the author argued that allowing transgender people to use women’s restrooms and changing rooms would make them “less safe” for biological women and girls. She also said that some of the language pushed by the transgender community is “dehumanizing and degrading” Women’s.
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