Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

JK Rowling: Donald Trump has a right to be bigoted

jktrump.jpg

JK Rowling has defended Donald Trump's right to be "offensive and bigoted."

The Harry Potter author, a vocal critic of the controversial Republican, took to the podium at the PEN Literary Gala and Free Expression Awards to discuss the importance of upholding rights to free speech.

Rowling, who was being honoured for her literary and humanitarian work, used her address to both take a swipe at Trump's views - and defend his right to have them.

She said that while she found the Republican party's presumptive presidential candidate “objectionable” she was concerned by a popular petition that called for him to be banned from entering the UK.

“If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justifications,” she told the audience in New York.

Last year half a million people added their names to an online petition to bar Trump, 69, from Britain after the he called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

“I consider him offensive and bigoted, but he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there," the 50-year-old said. "His freedom to speak is my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine.”

She continued: “If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral grounds on which to argue that those offended by feminism, or the fight for transgender rights, or universal suffrage, should not oppress campaigners for those causes.”

“The tides of populism and nationalism currently sweeping many developed countries have been accompanied by demands that unwelcome and inconvenient voices be removed from public discourse,” she said.

“It seems that unless a commentator or a television channel or a newspaper reflects exactly the complainant’s world view it must be guilty of bias or corruption.”

The writer's personal dislike of Trump's rhetoric is well documented. She branded him worse than her fictional villain Voldemort in a tweet last year, and in January she tweeted a link to her seven million followers showing an offensive comment Trump's spokesman made about President Barack Obama.

Skip to 1:48 to watch Rowling's speech:

Images: Rex Features

Related

rexfeatures_4627355l.jpg

20 fascinating facts about J.K. Rowling you probably never knew

wys.jpg

Elderly couple party 'til dawn at Fabric

chelsea.jpg

Chelsea Handler: “I don't care if I embarrass myself”

rebel1 fitness spinning class london bus commuter 1.jpg

London gym launching spin classes on a BUS for busy commuters

bike_rt.jpg

This week's Style List

opener_rt.jpg

Lindy West on why women need to be bigger

iStock_000063336005_Medium.jpg

“Word to your boss – this overtime has to stop”

IMG_5144_rt.jpg

“Did I inherit my mum’s depression?”

thelma-and-louise-reunion-1.jpg

Susan Sarandon: Thelma and Louise would never have been made today

Comments

More

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Reese Witherspoon's birthday shout-out to the Beckhams' glam evening

by Nicola Colyer
02 Dec 2016

Jessica Chastain on how she learned to love being a redhead

The actress used to struggle with low self-esteem as a result of her fiery locks.

by Moya Crockett
02 Dec 2016

Claudia Winkleman gets honest about her ‘overwhelming’ work schedule

“It left me crying my eyes out”

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Fawlty Towers’ John Cleese pays emotional tribute to Andrew Sachs

Andrew Sachs tragically passed away at 86 following battle with dementia

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher welcome baby boy

But the Black Swan star has vetoed her husband’s baby name

by Kayleigh Dray
02 Dec 2016

Beyoncé’s magical new video reveals more of her life behind the scenes

Featuring her wedding day, her friends, and a baby Blue Ivy.

by Moya Crockett
01 Dec 2016

Demi Lovato opens up about her battle with bipolar battle disorder

“My life is a work in progress”

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

“I didn’t ever want to rely on a man to provide for me”

Chelsea Handler on the importance of financial independence

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

Jennifer Aniston wants women to take a stand against sexist media

“Women do far more incredible things than just procreate”

by Kayleigh Dray
01 Dec 2016

“Why are women such doormats when it comes to friendship?”

"We still have some crazy idea that society ‘rewards’ women who are nice to each other"

by The Stylist web team
01 Dec 2016