Twitter Feud Develops Between J. K. Rowling and Stephen King

When famous authors clash...

J. K. Rowling
J. K. Rowling in 2010.
White House
By Tobias Carroll / July 1, 2020 9:00 am

Sometimes the world of wildly successful bestselling writers can look like a rarefied space of bold ideas and big personalities. And sometimes it can look every bit as petty as a high school cafeteria in the pre-quarantine days. The latest installment of famous writers feuding online comes via J. K. Rowling and Stephen King. Rowling, you may recall, has decided to double down on her own transphobia, prompting many who have worked with her in the past to denounce her beliefs.

Into this fray walked Stephen King. Over the weekend, Rowling posted a thread on Twitter which nominally clarified her position on a number of issues. The thread included a post that quoted feminist theorist Andrea Dworkin. King retweeted that post with some approving commentary, which in turn prompted a stir on literary Twitter. More than a few people wondered whether King was simply endorsing the sentiment expressed in that particular tweet, or whether he was signing on with Rowling’s whole agenda.

Rowling herself made an approving tweet, in which she wrote about her longtime admiration for King and his work. This, in turn, prompted someone to ask King for his own opinion on trans rights, seeking to clarify where he stood. “Trans women are women,” King replied — clarifying that he and Rowling do not see eye to eye on this issue.

Rowling’s response? She deleted her original tweet praising King.

As responses go, it’s a fairly petty one, and another piece of evidence that Rowling is setting much of her public goodwill on fire.

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