Vladimir Putin ‘references' JK Rowling in speech about cancel culture

The Harry Potter author hit back at the Russian president highlighting her charity's work in Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘references’ Harry Potter author JK Rowling in speech about cancel culture Getty ImagesITV

JK Rowling has responded to Russian President Vladimir Putin after he reportedly referenced her during a speech condemning “cancel culture” in the West.

Multiple outlets reported Putin said the Harry Potter author had been cancelled “because she did not satisfy the demands of gender rights”.

Sharing an article about the jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on Twitter, Rowling wrote: “Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics.”

Rowling detailed the work her Lumos charity is doing in Ukraine saying she was personally matching all donations to its emergency appeal up to £1m.

Putin is said to have made the comments during a televised meeting with Russian cultural figures.

He also claimed Western countries were trying to cancel the works of composers Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff.

The Russian president is is reported to have said: “They cancelled Joanne Rowling recently, the children’s author.

“Her books are published all over the world. Just because she did not satisfy the demands of gender rights.

“They are trying to cancel our country. I am talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia – this trend that is unfolding in a number of Western states.”

Rowling has drawn criticism for her views on transgender issues.

In June 2020 she wrote an essay explaining how she was motivated to speak about the subject in part because of her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

She strongly denies allegations of transphobia that her critics have levelled at her.

Those critical of the writer have included Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.