Star Wars legend Mark Hamill cleared the air after fans criticized him for "liking" a tweet from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, whose transphobia, racism and homophobia prompted many to boycott her books and the film and television adaptations they've inspired.
After the celebrated transgender journalist and broadcaster Indian Willoughby wrote a tweet saying she is "more of a woman than JK Rowling will ever be," Rowling tweeted a screenshot of Willoughby's tweet with the caption "Citation needed."
Hamill—who has a long history of standing up for LGBTQ+ rights—then liked Rowling's tweet, which exposed him to backlash from fans who accused him of being transphobic.
The controversy prompted Willoughby herself to urge fans to give Hamill the benefit of the doubt after Fox News published a piece claiming Hamill is "facing cancel culture wrath."
"I'm a fan of Mark Hamill. He's a good guy. Ignore this crap from Fox News—typical Murdoch garbage."
"Mark's totally onside with the LGBTs."
You can see her tweet below.
Hamill later issued an explanation for why he "liked" Rowling's tweet, saying he was actually siding with Willoughby in her exchange with Rowling and Twitter is unfortunately "no place for nuance":
"What I ‘liked’ about this exchange was someone speaking their truth to power. Twitter is, unfortunately, no place for nuance. It’s imperative I make this abundantly clear: I support human rights for EVERYONE, regardless of their gender identity, PERIOD.”
You can see his tweet below.
Many appreciated Hamill's response and defended him.
Rowling has repeatedly come under fire for her racism, homophobia, ableism and anti-transgender views and their inclusion in her writing. Her responses to proposed changes to gender recognition laws in the United Kingdom also draw public backlash.
Rowling's statements have divided feminists and Harry Potter fans, fueled debates on freedom of speech, academic freedom and cancel culture and prompted support for transgender people from the literary, arts and culture sectors including the stars of the films based on her books.
Over the last few years, Rowling has argued against the inclusion of transgender women in women's restrooms and promoted stereotypes about transgender people, as when she included a cross-dressing killer inTroubled Blood, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.
She took the name as a tribute to Robert Galbraith Heath—long considered the father of LGBTQ+ conversion therapy.