entertainment

Gimme Gimme Gimme star James Dreyfus among signees of open letter supporting JK Rowling

"We wish JKR well and stand in solidarity with her".

2020-09-29

Gimme Gimme Gimme star James Dreyfus is among 50 actors, writers and journalists to sign a letter in support of JK Rowling following backlash online to her views on trans people.

The letter, which was published in the Sunday Times, was also signed by Atonement novelist Ian McEwan.

Other signees include Bad Girls and Footballers’ Wives writer Maureen Chadwick, journalist Julie Bindel and the novelists Philip Hensher and Simon Edge.

The letter reads: “JK Rowling has been subjected to an onslaught of abuse that highlights an insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic trend in social media.

“Rowling has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person, and the appalling hashtag #RIPJKRowling is just the latest example of hate speech directed against her and other women that Twitter and other platforms enable and implicitly endorse. 



"We are signing this letter in the hope that, if more people stand up against the targeting of women online, we might at least make it less acceptable to engage in it or profit from it.

“We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.”

Dreyfus starred in BBC sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme alongside Kathy Burke from 1999-2001. He played unlucky in love gay actor Tom, while Burke played the similarly unlucky in love Linda.

He will soon appear in the Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci movie Supernova, about a same-sex couple on an emotional road trip.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them actor Eddie Redmayne also spoke out in support of Rowling this week, condemning the “vitriol” she has received in an interview with the Daily Mail.

He added: "Similarly, there continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating."

Rowling has sparked huge backlash from fans of Harry Potter and beyond for her views on trans issues.

In June she tweeted of “people who menstruate”: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

She later added: "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."

She followed this with an essay published on her personal website saying: “I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.

"When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

Last week, the government officially dropped plans to allow people to self-identify their gender.

Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss aid in a statement: "It is the Government’s view that the balance struck in this legislation is correct, in that there are proper checks and balances in the system and also support for people who want to change their legal sex."