JK Rowling Challenges Sky News Gender Label

Rowling's latest critique ignites controversy over gender identity reporting.

by Nouman Rasool
JK Rowling Challenges Sky News Gender Label
© Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

JK Rowling has kicked up another outrage, this time with her post on social media against Sky News, which apparently referred to murderer Scarlet Blake by her gender, a woman. Such is the controversy around the subject, based on the case involving the then-26-year-old Blake, who gruesomely killed a cat and shortly thereafter murdered Jorge Martin Carreno, reportedly fulfilling a twisted fantasy influenced by a Netflix documentary.

The irate act landed Blake, who has since transgendered, to be sentenced to life imprisonment. Rowling, using her X/Twitter account, tweeted against the broadcaster's decision to use pronouns and said, “I’m so sick of this s***.

This is not a woman. These are #NotOurCrimes”. This is part of the writer's persistent trend of objecting to issues emanating from transgender topics and prompted a strong response. Rowling has been accused of transphobia before, largely stemming from her refusal to use preferred pronouns—an issue over which Rowling has vowed to go to jail rather than conform.

The argument escalated after Rowling voiced support for criticism by a journalist of The Guardian's editorial policy on the reporting of gender identity. In a tweet, supported by Rowling that said "Every word of this," Tickle said that the newspaper had jettisoned transparency and editorial judgment.

Rowling's Gender Debate

She had three major concerns: that crime statistics would become skewered; that male-committed crimes risked falsely cataloguing as female; and once again, the issue around whether transgender prisoners could be incarcerated in gender-aligned facilities.

These statements reignite debates related to gender identity issues, crime reporting, and the role of the media in general. The author first dived into controversy when she publicly supported Maya Forstater's case in December 2019, and on further comments made to the public on the same issue.

Since then, Rowling has come under fire various times, while numerous celebrities—including "Harry Potter" actor Daniel Radcliffe—condemning her. Radcliffe and others have justified the transgender movement, asking people to consider that a woman should be accepted as a woman if she perceives herself so, despite being transgendered.