JK Rowling in explosive row with India Willoughby as author refuses to call trans newsreader a 'woman'

JK Rowling in explosive row with India Willoughby as author refuses to call trans newsreader a 'woman'

'Absolutely wrong!' Emily Carver hits out at Tom Harwood in fierce row over JK Rowling trans views

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 05/03/2024

- 10:42

The Harry Potter author and former Celebrity Big Brother star have clashed over trans issues before

JK Rowling has come under fire from trans activists for claiming TV presenter India Willoughby is "cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is".

The author, 58, is no stranger to airing her views on transgenderism, recently attacking Sky News for its coverage of trans cat killer Scarlet Blake and elsewhere claiming she'd rather serve time in jail than call a trans woman a "woman".

Her latest comments targeted at Willoughby come after she'd taken to social media over the weekend to unleash a rant against the idea of trans women being allowed in female locker rooms.

Willoughby was brought into the social media discussion when one X user questioned Rowling on whether or not "this lady", alongside a gif image of Willoughby, should be forced to use men's locker rooms.

Responding to the user's query, Rowling took aim at Willoughby as she replied: "You've sent me the wrong video. There isn't a lady in this one, just a man revelling in his misogynistic performance of what he thinks 'woman' means: narcissistic, shallow and exhibitionist."

A second X user also questioned Rowling: "If India Willoughby is a 'misogynist' why did she become a woman? Think!"

India Willoughby

India Willoughby has become embroiled in a public spat with JK Rowling


But Rowling issued an unwavering retort as she claimed: "India didn't become a woman. India is cosplaying a misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is."

Willoughby, who is Britain's first transgender newsreader, soon responded to Rowling's remarks, accusing the Harry Potter author of "grotesque transphobia".

"How dare you JK Rowling. I'm a woman," Willoughby penned on X. "Recognised in law and reality. Honestly, you are such a vile person.

"The most obviously transphobic thing you could say to a trans person. Go get some therapy."

In a separate post, Willoughby wrote alongside Rowling's initial tweet: "Genuinely disgusted by this. Grotesque transphobia, which is upsetting.

"I am every bit as much a woman as JK Rowling. Recognised in law, and by everyone I interact with every day. The debate about whether JK Rowling is a transphobe is over."

Rowling didn't stop there as, upon noticing Willoughby's response, she shared a screenshot of a previous tweet by the newsreader which sarcastically pondered the kidnap of MP Joanna Cherry.

Rowling shared: "For reference, this is the individual whose precious feelings are more important than truth, according to some of his fellow men.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling refused to address India Willoughby as a "woman"


"If you think women calling this person a man is more offensive than him publicly fantasising about kidnapping women, I can't help you."

The spat between the two continued with Willoughby hitting back at Rowling's screenshot by saying: "Pathetic attempt to distract from your abhorrent misgendering JK Rowling.

"Obvs real kidnappers come to Twitter to publicly tweet. From a joke conversation about 'Who would you kidnap on Twitter?' Good to see Bacteria Twitter patting your back and telling you you're nice."

Both of the public figures' respective fanbases soon flooded the conversation with their own views on the row, including one of Willoughby's followers who said the author should be "ashamed".

JK Rowling

JK Rowling has often come under fire for her views on the trans debate


In response, Willoughby shared: "It's horrible. But at least the world sees JK Rowling for who she is, along with the viciousness of her 'Gender Critical' followers.

"It's tough for me, but imagine being a young or vulnerable person on the end of this disgusting abuse." (sic)

As well as being Britain's first transgender newsreader, 58-year-old Willoughby was also the first trans presenter of all-female panel show Loose Women.

Willoughby's TV credits also include appearances in Celebrity Big Brother, Good Morning Britain and Channel 5 News.

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