JK Rowling, author of the hugely successful Harry Potter series, found her name in headlines these last few years less for her creative work and more for her hateful, inflammatory, transphobic comments and social media behavior.
The once-beloved writer started down a pointedly anti-trans path a few years ago and has gotten so bad about it several people who have worked with her have denounced her.
Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, actors who have played central roles in the movie adaptations of her books, both made statements in support of trans rights. Stephen King, an author who Rowling long praised as a game-changer, tweeted trans women are women.
Rowling deleted her praise of King in response.
Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger in the original set of films, has long aligned herself as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. She was among the first, and clearest, to speak out against Rowling's transphobic TERF messaging.
People believe her recent BAFTA award ceremony appearance included a subtle jab at Rowling, though Watson never mentioned the author by name.
Rebel Wilson introduced Watson by saying:
“She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch.”
Watson responded on stepping up to the mic with:
"I'm here for all the witches."
The single sentence is drawing cheers from around the world.
But some Rowling supporters—overwhelmingly White men—are annoyed with Watson.
They called the actress talentless, ungrateful and accused her of "biting the hand that feeds" since they feel Watson owed Rowling a debt of gratitude for her early film roles.
The backlash is just as real as the applause.
Which caused its own ripple effect in the debate that doesn't look like it's going to be ending any time soon.
Neither Rowling nor Watson have commented on Watson's support of all witches.