BBC apologises for failing to step in over JK Rowling slurs

BBC apologises for failing to step in over JK Rowling slurs during radio chat about Hogwarts game

  • Stacey Henley had accused JK Rowling of ‘pushing transphobia’ on BBC Radio 4
  • Host Evan Davis was criticised for only making ‘perfunctory efforts’ to intervene

The BBC has apologised for letting a trans guest accuse JK Rowling of transphobia without being challenged.

Evan Davis was hosting Radio 4’s PM show when Stacey Henley made the claims while discussing a new Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy.

Ms Henley, a trans woman and editor-in-chief of The Gamer – a website for video game fans – accused Ms Rowling of pushing ‘transphobia’ and a ‘campaign against trans people’. 

Davis replied: ‘Obviously, JK Rowling… wouldn’t say she’s transphobic.’

But a women’s group criticised the ‘skewed piece’, saying Davis had made only ‘perfunctory efforts’ to intervene.

Trans woman and editor-in-chief of The Gamer, Stacey Henley, accused Ms Rowling of pushing ‘transphobia’ and a ‘campaign against trans people’

After Thursday’s show, Davis said the programme ‘hadn’t intended it that way’.

A BBC spokesman later said: ‘This is a difficult and contentious area which we do try very hard to cover fairly. 

However, we should have challenged the claims more directly and we apologise that we did not.’

It is not the first time Radio 4 has been criticised over its treatment of the Harry Potter author. 

Last year, a presenter was accused of ‘bracketing’ Ms Rowling alongside sex offenders US singer R Kelly and sculptor Eric Gill.

PM decided to use the fact that the new Hogwarts Legacy game is released this Friday to have a discussion about people’s attitudes to the game in light of JK Rowling’s views on gender.

Ms Rowling has often been criticised by trans activists over her stance on women’s rights, including her views on female-only spaces.

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