Graham Norton drew criticism for his decision to interview JK Rowling on his Virgin Radio show earlier this month.
The talk show host, 59, said the ‘easiest’ thing to do was not having the author, 57, on the show, but said it ‘doesn’t seem right’ not to interview someone just because he disagrees with them.
Rowling has been accused of transphobia since posting a series of tweets in 2020 in which she said that “erasing the concept of gender removes the ability for many to meaningfully discuss their lives”.
Response: Graham Norton addressed criticism over his decision to interview JK Rowling on his Virgin radio show earlier this month.
Speaking about her divisive views, Graham said that while he does not want to “broadcast” her views, his decision is not who can appear on television and radio and who cannot.
Rowling appeared on the Virgin Radio Show in August to talk about her new novel, The Ink Black Heart, the latest in a series of novels written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
Am I suddenly the moral arbiter of the world who says who can or can’t be on TV? No, Graham said times.
I won’t make her air her opinions, but she has the right to continue talking about her criminal narrative. The easiest thing is not to wear it, but it just doesn’t feel right.
Views: The talk show host, 59, said the ‘easiest’ thing to do was for the author, 57, not to be on the show, but said it didn’t ‘seem right’ not just because he disagreed with her.
Graham said he did not speak to the writer about what he described as her “problematic” views on gender identity, but imagined they would disagree on the subject.
But he said he thought he still had to talk to people he didn’t agree with, and pondered the culture of cancellation by saying Rowling would continue to sell “Gazillion Books” whether or not he interviewed her.
Rowling is frequently criticized on Twitter for her views, and Graham said he got insight into how she “has fun” alongside the “pub argument” in social media when he gave her an interview.
Graham went on to explain that he does not talk about politics with the guests on his radio show, but does touch on topics of gender and race.
Am I suddenly the moral judgment?
On Graham’s Show, J.K. Rowling described social media as “A gift for those who want to act maliciously,” after she received a death threat from an Islamic extremist in response to her support of Salman Rushdie’s stabbing.
The Harry Potter author wrote on Twitter that she was ‘very sick now’ and ‘let him be alright’ after Rushdie was stabbed over and over again as he prepared to give a lecture in upstate New York earlier this month.
But then it seemed like an Islamic extremist was threatening Mrs. Rowling, writing: “You’re next.”
Rowling has also been repeatedly targeted by trolls after making critical comments about the transgender lobby – including protesters standing outside her home with banners after her address was posted online last year.
Controversy: J.K. Rowling has been accused of transphobia since she tweeted in 2020 saying that “erasing the concept of gender removes the ability for many to meaningfully discuss their lives”
Speaking to Graham Norton on his Virgin Radio show, she said: ‘Social media can be so much fun and I love the pub argument aspect of it.
This can be a fun thing to do. But there is no doubt that social media is a boon for people who want to act maliciously.
And on whether anything could be done to stop online trolls, she added, “I guess on one level I’m not sure I can.
I’m not sure anyone can do that. I try to act online as I would like others to act. I would never want to… I’ve never threatened anyone, and I obviously definitely don’t want anyone to go to their house or anything like that.
But she insisted that her latest book, The Ink Black Heart, the latest in a series of novels written under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith about a cartoonist who’s poached by an online fan, had nothing to do with the threats she faced in real life.
When asked if the story had echoes of her own experiences, she continued: “More echoes than I realized because I have to really clear it up after some things that happened to me online last year, I wrote the book before I was sure. Things happened to me online.
I told my husband, “Everyone will see this as a response to what happened to me.”
But that wasn’t really the case. The first draft of the book was finished at the point where certain things happened to me.
Rowling also said she wasn’t snubbed from the latest Harry Potter reunion because of her controversial views on transgender people – but instead declined an invitation.
Reunion: Speaking to Graham, Rowling said she wasn’t bothered by a Harry Potter reunion offer due to her divisive views on transgender people – but instead declined an invitation
Return to Hogwarts was released on January 1, but it didn’t feature Rowling apart from old archive footage.
Her appearance on the 20th Anniversary Show was widely speculated about following up on her statements about women’s and transgender rights, accusing her of being ‘transphobic’, but no statement from the author made the matter clear at the time.
She has historically spoken out about the culture of cancellation amid allegations that it was “abolished” by younger generations, but in a rare interview, she said she “didn’t want to be a part of it.”
She said: ‘I was asked to be in it, and I decided I didn’t want to be a part of it.
It was about the movies, not the books, rightfully so. That’s what the memory was all about.
Opinions: Rowling (pictured in 2017) has spoken out about cancellation culture amid allegations that it has been “cancelled,” but in a rare interview, she said she “didn’t want to be a part of it”
So no one said no [do it]…I was asked to do this and I decided not to.
She explained that she was not advised not to appear, explaining that this was her own decision, following fan speculation about her absence.
An archival shot during the author’s reunion showed the first book signing, while Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, praised JK for helping people cement a love of books again during the rise of Potter’s mania.
The only shots of the author speaking to herself rather than discussing her is a clip from a 2019 interview that was repeatedly serialized.
In the interview, she is seen discussing the uphill struggle of finding an actor to play Harry when choosing the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Since the release of the last Harry Potter movie, Rowling has become a deeply divisive character.
The author also often tweeted critically about the use of inclusive language and spaces, and retweeted memorably which referred to ‘people who menstruate’ and added, ‘I’m sure there was a word for these guys. Someone help me. Shown? Wimpund? Woomood?
Transgender activists say Rowling’s positions are discriminatory and fail to recognize the difficulties that transgender and non-binary people face, but some feminists argue that it is necessary to retain single-sex spaces to protect vulnerable women.
It has also received backlash from allegations it made in an attempt to defend itself in 2020, including the claim that people ‘distinguished or lucky enough to never encounter male violence’ support inclusive spaces.
Divisive: Since the release of the last Harry Potter movie, Rowling (pictured in March) has become a deeply controversial figure.