J.K. Rowling fired back at Vladimir Putin after comparing the backlash she received due to her transphobia to the West “trying to cancel Russia.”
In a tweet she posted March 25, the “Harry Potter” author said critiques of “cancel culture” are "not best made by those slaughtering civilians."
"Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics," she tweeted along with the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine.
The backlash Rowling received was about her transphobic views when they first came to light in June 2020 after linking to an article on Twitter titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 for people who menstruate,” and responded with “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
She more recently claimed “innumerable gay people” have been saying that trans rights are “undermining” women’s rights.
Putin, Russia’s president, accused the West of discriminating against everything that is related to Russia, without presenting any evidence, during a video conference with cultural figures, according to CNN. He then compared the West’s treatment of Russia to the backlash Rowling received in the past for her views on trans people.
"J.K. Rowling has recently been canceled because she ... did not please the fans of the so-called gender freedoms," Putin said. "Today, they are trying to cancel a whole 1,000-year-old country, our people. I am talking about the increasing discrimination of everything related to Russia, about this trend which is unfolding in a number of Western states."
Putin has cast himself as a “flag-bearer for conservative cultural values” and railed against equal rights, according to CNN. Russia has faced international condemnation over his invasion of Ukraine.
Putin has also compared the current situation with Russian culture in the West to censorship in Nazi Germany.
"Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov are excluded from posters, Russian writers and their books are banned," Putin said, without presenting any evidence as CNN reported. "The last time such a massive campaign to destroy unfavorable literature was carried out by the Nazis in Germany almost 90 years ago."
Rowling launched a fundraising appeal the day after Ukraine was invaded. She said her children’s charity, Lumos, has been working with the Ukrainian government since 2013, according to CNN.
"A reminder: I will personally match all donations to our emergency appeal, up to £1million [$1.3 million]. If you're able to, you can donate [at wearelumos.org]. Again, thank you so very much to all who've already donated," Rowling tweeted.