Authors quit JK Rowling’s literary agency over transgender row

Julia Hartley-Brewer discusses the agency's stance with Brendan O'Neill

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Four writers have quite the literary agency that represents JK Rowling after claiming the company had refused to publish a statement in support of transgender rights.

Fox Fisher, Ugla Stefania Kristjonudottir Jonsdottir and Drew Davies said in a a joint statement, announcing their departure from London-based The Blair Partnership, that had asked the agency to “reaffirm their stance to transgender rights and equality”.

However, according to the authors, the company had not committed to action that they deemed “appropriate and meaningful”.

One other writer also left the firm but did not sign the statement.

A spokeswoman for The Blair Partnership said it championed “equality and inclusivity” but would not be “re-educated” to agree with the views of their clients.

“We support the rights of all of our clients to express their thoughts and beliefs, and we believe in freedom of speech.

“We are disappointed by the decision that four clients have taken to part ways with the agency. To reiterate, we believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view.”

The fallout follows fierce criticism of JK Rowling - one of the company’s main clients - following comments she made about transgender issues.

The Harry Potter author was accused of transphobia after she questioned an article headline that referenced “people who menstruate”.

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