J.K. Rowling arrives at the 2019 RFK Ripple of Hope Awards in New York

Even Elon Musk of All People Thinks J.K. Rowling Should Cool It With the Transphobic Tweets

Elon Musk —yep, that Elon Musk—has suddenly expressed mild distaste for J.K. Rowling’s over-the-top, relentless transphobia. It’s what the “Heartbreaking: The Worst Person You Know Just Made A Great Point” meme was made for.

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Musk for whatever reason decided to seek out one of Rowling’s month-old transphobic posts—she posts virtually nothing else but transphobia now—and comment on it. Underneath Rowling’s spiel about what she believes a woman is, Elon Musk wrote, “While I heartily agree with your points regarding sex/gender, may I suggest also posting interesting and positive content on other matters?”

Make no mistake: This is not a sign that Musk is changing his mind about trans people. (He did not, in fact, “make a great point.”) He is as vicious a transphobe as Rowling is. This champion of free speech has gone so far as to prohibit usage of the words “cis” and “cisgender” on X, formerly known as Twitter. But it’s interesting that he’s calling Rowling out now. Is her much-publicized Holocaust denial and relentless hatred finally starting to reflect badly on him and the social media platform he ran into the ground?

Rowling’s response

Elon’s attempted intervention got some nasty anti-trans slurs aimed at him by the more unhinged Rowling fans. Rowling herself, however, seemed perfectly fine with a man telling her what to do—as long as he’s cis. On May 5, she posted a jokey response to the whole incident, advertising a new interview with the Sunday Times:

“Hahaha, just realized that I missed being advised to share more positive content yesterday… sharing this about my writing life, which happens to have been published today in The Sunday Times, should in no way be interpreted as me doing as I’m told,” she wrote, alongside a winking emoji that indicated all was fine between her and Musk. She saw no reason to call him a predatory man trying to silence her … she reserves that exclusively for trans women.

Plenty of Twitter—sorry, “X”—users have noticed the double standards.

So just so we’re clear: J.K. Rowling is fine with a man who is a fellow transphobe telling her to shut up, but when her one-time friend Daniel Radcliffe expresses support for trans people, she’ll never forgive him for having “cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights.” Okay then.

(featured image: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)


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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.