Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in the midst of invading Ukraine, has found time to give a shout out to fellow transphobe, author JK Rowling

Trigger Warning: This story has details of transphobic statements, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.

Putin compared the West’s treatment of Russia by imposing sanctions to that of the backlash that the author of the Harry Potter series has faced over her transphobic views. Rowling, herself, balked at Putin’s endorsement and tried to distance herself from him. 

Putin Against ‘Cancel Culture’

The President in a televised speech to winners of the Presidential Young Artists Awards, claimed that the West was trying to “cancel” a 1000-year-old country and pointed to programs by Russian artists being cancelled across the US and Europe. 

“They’re now engaging in the cancel culture, even removing Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov from posters. Russian writers and books are now cancelled,” Putin claimed, comparing the cancellations to Nazi supporters burning books in the 1930s. 

“Recently they cancelled the children’s writer Joanne Rowling because she – the author of books that have sold hundreds of millions of copies worldwide – fell out of favour with fans of so-called gender freedoms,” said Putin. 

“Today, they are trying to cancel a whole thousand-year-old country, our people. I am talking about the increasing discrimination of everything related to Russia, about this trend which is unfolding in a number of Western states,” added Putin. 

Rowling Hits Back At Putin

Rowling was quick to post a message denouncing Putin and the Russian invasion.

“Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics,” Rowling posted on Twitter along with the hashtag #IStandWithUkraine. 

Rowling has a history of making anti-trans statements. Recently, she claimed that “lesbians were under attack for not wishing to be redefined and for refusing to use ideological language they find offensive.”

Putin, who is infamous for enacting the anti-gay propaganda law in Russia, is no stranger to making transphobic remarks. Last year he had stated that teaching gender fluidity was akin to “a crime against humanity.” In another speech he dubbed activists fighting for trans rights to “new strains” of a pandemic.

If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.

For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14

For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.





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