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“Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling on Saturday discussed the dangers of social media, weeks after receiving a death threat when she tweeted support to Salman Rushdie following his stabbing attack earlier this month.
“I try to behave online as I would like others to behave,” the author told British host Graham Norton on his radio show when he asked how online rhetoric could be de-escalated. “I’ve never threatened anyone. “I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to go to their houses or anything like that.”
Police began investigating earlier this month when a Twitter user named Meer Asif Aziz allegedly tweeted “Don’t worry you are next” to Rowling after she called Rushdie’s stabbing attack on a stage in New York “horrifying news” on Twitter. Rowling says she regularly receives threats online.
“The Satanic Verses” author remains hospitalized two weeks after the attack.
JK ROWLING SHOWS SUPPORT FOR SALMAN RUSHDIE, RECEIVES DEATH THREAT AFTER: ‘YOU’RE NEXT’
Rowling went on to tell Norton that she enjoys the “pub argument aspect” of social media. “That can be a fun thing to do.”
But she admitted she now has a “love-hate relationship” with it and said she once went about a year off Twitter and finally returned only in connection to a children’s book she was writing. “I can happily go for a few days without getting into a pub brawl” on the platform, she said.
She said social media “can be a lot of fun” but “there’s no doubt that social media is a gift for people who want to behave in a malign way.”
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Norton asked Rowling about why she was “excluded” from the “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” HBO special this month and if she still has a relationship with any of the actors who played Potter and his two best friends from the films. Norton mentioned the actors had “spoken out” about her over what they perceived as anti-transgender rhetoric online.
Rowling said she had been invited to the event but decided not to do it.
“I was asked to be on that, and I decided I didn’t want to do it,” she said. “I thought it was about the films more than the books, you know, quite rightly. That was what the anniversary was about.”
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“No one said don’t come. I was asked to do it and I decided not to,” she added.
She said that she still speaks to Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint who played Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley in the series, “some more than others, but that was always the case.”
Rowling has been vocal about her views on gender identity and wrote in one controversial tweet in 2020: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people. But erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
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Radcliffe responded in a statement on the Trevor Project’s website, writing “Transgender women are women.” The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ nonprofit focusing on suicide prevention.