JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and 150 other authors write an open letter against ‘cancel culture’

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 08, 2020, 09:16 PM(IST)

File image of JK Rowling. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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JK Rowling has been at the center of an online debate about transgender rights in recent weeks.

Among 150 writers including ‘Harry Potter’ author JK Rowling and ‘The Handmaids’ Tale’ scribe Margaret Atwood have written an open letter in Harper's Magazine against the ‘cancel culture’.

JK Rowling has been at the center of an online debate about transgender rights in recent weeks. She gave her name to the open letter that reads: “The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted.”

The letter further read, “We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”  

Titled ‘A Letter on Justice and Open Debate’ said that the cancel culture will harm the most “vital causes of our time” by silencing “good-faith” disagreement.

“The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away,” it continued.

The letter has been signed by authors like Salman Rushdie, Malcolm Gladwell and Noam Chomsky and others.

Last month, JK Rowling had voiced her opinion on transgender rights when she was trolled on social media. She had said that certain demands by transgender activists were dangerous to women.

Harry Potter fan sites step back from JK Rowling over transgender views

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