Talk show host Graham Norton has deleted his Twitter account following backlash over comments regarding transgender people.
On Monday, Twitter users noticed the comedian and broadcaster’s account had disappeared – with many pointing to JK Rowling and her supporters as a possible reason.
He sparked debate when questioned about cancel culture in an interview at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last week.
The interviewer also asked him for his views on the Harry Potter author, whose opinions have prompted backlash from trans-rights activists in recent years.
Responding, Norton said: “Talk to trans people, talk the parents of trans kids, talk to doctors, talk to psychiatrists, to someone who can illuminate this in some way.
“I’m very aware that, as a bloke on the telly, your voice can be artificially amplified, and once in a blue moon, that can be good, but most of the time, it’s just a distraction. It’s for clicks…
“If you want to talk about something, talk about the thing, you don’t need to attach a Kardashian or whatever to a subject, the subject should be enough in itself.”
JK Rowling took to social media following his comments, saying: “Very much enjoying the recent spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree.
“You may mock, but takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet.”
Co-host of Loose Women on ITV and the UK’s first transgender newsreader, India Willoughby, said it was “desperately sad” he had been “forced off Twitter”.
It comes after the Harry Potter author, who wrote the multi-million selling Harry Potter series of books, posted a photo on Twitter of her wearing a t-shirt featuring the words: “Nicola Sturgeon: Destroyer of women’s rights.”
She shared the photo as women gathered in front of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to protest a move by a multi-party Holyrood committee to back controversial legislation that aims to make it easier for transgender people to be legally recognised as their preferred gender.
In June 2020, Rowling wrote an essay explaining how she was partly motivated to speak about transgender issues because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.
But critics have accused the writer of being transphobic, an allegation which she strongly denies.