BBC apologizes for ‘uncontested claims’ about JK Rowling for second time this month

The BBC has apologized for its coverage of JK Rowling for the second time this year after an on-air guest unchallengedly labeled the ‘Harry Potter’ author anti-trans.

While discussing the Harry Potter video game controversy Hogwarts Legacy on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland program, which aired on February 10, gamer guest Lee Rob and transgender author and ” Technology expert for gamers” Carrie Marshall on the “culture wars” surrounding video games.

“Quite a lot of LGBT+ people are concerned about the Harry Potter franchise because JK Rowling has been very proud of her association with the so-called gender-criticism movement and some of its leaders, and has also strongly suggested that she consider her income as evidence of that.” that people share their views,” Marshall said as she detailed why she decided not to buy the game.

“So this is about much, much more than the video game. For some people, this is about a culture war issue, and we see some people now harass transgamers and say, “I’ll buy 10 copies of this, what are you going to do about it?” and online it’s gotten really, really awful.”

BBC presenter Lucy White asked Rob if he had witnessed the anti-trans harassment in online gaming spaces, and he said he “absolutely had the culture war against transgender people” and “absolutely regretted it”.

“I don’t agree with some of the things that JK Rowling has been putting out over the last few years,” he continued. “But I think it’s possible to separate the artist from the art.”

Marshall countered Rob’s opinion, saying that in this case, the artist’s financial gain could be used to negatively impact the lives of trans people.

“I think specifically here with the idea of ​​separating the art from the artist, this is money that people very strongly believe is going to fund the anti-trans movement,” Marshall said.

“Which, for example, brought more than 300 anti-trans laws before the US legislature. It has also become a real battlefield in Britain. So this has a measurable impact on the lives of trans people and potentially their safety as well. … It’s about real people’s lives, and I think that’s why so many trans people are concerned about this game.”

After the show aired, the BBC received numerous complaints that “in a discussion, the cast incorrectly attributed anti-transgender views to author JK Rowling and that this was not challenged by the programme”.

On February 17, the BBC issued a public response to the complaints, which said: “The intent of this discussion was to focus on the release of the Hogwarts Legacy video game. There is a debate going on within the gaming community where some have made the decision not to buy the game and some sites are not reviewing it. The debate was held with two players – one who bought the game and one who refused to buy it. It was our intention to focus on this issue within the gaming community and hear from two contributors with different views.

“However, after reviewing the discussion during the broadcast, it is clear that the debate addressed the issue of gender identity and allegations were made about JK Rowling’s views. We accept that the program has not challenged these claims and acknowledge that our contributors have presented their opinions as facts. This fell short of the strict editorial standards we have applied to our broad coverage of trans and gender recognition stories in BBC Scotland news and breaking news, and we apologize for that.”

This is the second time the BBC has publicly apologized for its coverage of JK Rowling in the last month. Deadline reported the BBC received 199 complaints after news presenter Evan Davis failed to immediately challenge a guest who claimed JK Rowling was engaging in “transphobia”. BBC apologizes for ‘uncontested claims’ about JK Rowling for second time this month

Sarah Ridley

Sarah Ridley is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Sarah Ridley joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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