J.K. Rowling, Bari Weiss, David Brooks, and Margaret Atwood are just a few of the authors and academics who recently signed an open letter defending free speech and denouncing "cancel culture."
“[T]his needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity,” the letter said.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter went on. “But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought.”
“The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away," it continued, adding, “If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us."
Rowling, the world-renowned author of the “Harry Potter” series, has come under fire recently for alleged "transphobic" comments on social media, in which she defended the scientific reality of biological sex.
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.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
She posted on Twitter that she was “very proud” to sign the letter.
I was very proud to sign this letter in defence of a foundational principle of a liberal society: open debate and freedom of thought and speech.https://t.co/noh8VRHMyN— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 7, 2020
Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who played the role of Harry Potter, publicly criticized Rowling’s comments on transgenderism.
“78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people” 👏— The Trevor Project (@TrevorProject) June 9, 2020
Thank you Daniel Radcliffe for all your support 💗https://t.co/C56gu10Fkk