JK Rowling hits back at warning to delete India Willoughby posts ahead of 'ludicrous' Scotland hate crime law

JK Rowling hits back at warning to delete India Willoughby posts ahead of 'ludicrous' Scotland hate crime law

'KIDNAP THREAT' - Trans journalist India Willoughby SCOLDED for violent language amid JK Rowling row

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 19/03/2024

- 12:32

The Harry Potter author has stood firm ahead of the act's roll out on April 1

JK Rowling has refused to delete social media posts targeting trans newsreader India Willoughby ahead of Scotland's new hate crime laws.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act comes into effect on April 1 and will make it an offence to stir up hatred against protected characteristics such as age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The legislation has sparked controversy among critics as many fear it could lead to criminalisation of free speech.

As a result, Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, has now been urged by trans activists to U-turn and delete her recent social media posts involving Willoughby.

The two became embroiled in a war of words on X this month when Rowling said Willoughby "cosplayed" as a "misogynistic male fantasy of what a woman is" and refused to call the newsreader a "woman".

Willoughby reported Rowling to police in Northumbria but the Harry Potter author has since been cleared of any criminality.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling refused to call India Willoughby a woman on social media


A statement from Northumbria Police said: "On Monday, March 4, we received a complaint about a post on social media. While we recognise the upset this may have caused, the post was reviewed and did not meet the criminal threshold. The complainant has been updated of this."

Despite the decision, Willoughby's supporters have urged Rowling to remove the posts ahead of the April 1 deadline.

Rowling shared one such plea from an X user which read: "It comes into force on 1 April 2024 and any posts up after that are amenable to prosecution in Scotland. You are best advised to delete the posts about @IndiaWilloughby as they most likely contravene the new law. Start deleting!"

In no uncertain terms, Rowling refused and replied to the X user: "If you genuinely imagine I’d delete posts calling a man a man, so as not to be prosecuted under this ludicrous law, stand by for the mother of all April Fools’ jokes."

Rowling also shared an article written in the Times by journalist Alex Massie with the headline: "SNP’s farcical hate crime bill is an insult to nation’s intelligence."

She included an excerpt from said article in the post which read: "The Scottish government has contrived to create a bill which affords greater status and protection to men who cross-dress than it does to actual women."

Rowling's followers also slammed the law, with one follower mocking: "Are @PoliceScotland going to publish weekly hate crime charts? I'd quite like to know which high profile individual receives the most malign complaints each week. I suspect @jk_rowling will clinch the first number 1 spot."

The 58-year-old joked in response: "Please don't jinx it. If I only clinch the #2 spot I'll be so disappointed."

JK Rowling

JK Rowling has been urged to delete posts about India Willoughby


Meanwhile, Willoughby has also returned to social media to express disdain at the police's decision.

She penned on March 19: "The law is absolutely on my side - but it has been so disappointing to see the police refusing to prosecute fully... Power made them bottle it."

Willoughby has also claimed to have received "death threats" and an "avalanche of hate and abuse" since engaging in the social media row with Rowling.

This prompted Rowling to reply: "Let's compare what each of us has got over the past five years, @IndiaWilloughby, and see who's had the greatest number of threats of murder, torture, burning, skinning, rape (in every possible mutation) and assault (again, in every possible variation) from the other's allies." (sic)

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