Bestselling children’s author dropped after throwing her support behind JK Rowling amid ‘transphobia’ row
Bestselling Scottish author Gillian Philip has been let go by her publisher after putting “I stand with JK Rowling” in her Twitter handle.
Philip, from Glasgow, backed Harry Potter author JK Rowling – who’s been labelled “transphobic” and “condescending” for her repeated tirades about transgender people – online, in discussions about Rowling’s controversial views.
This sparked emails to her employer, Working Partners, a fiction packaging firm that comes up with ideas for book series and commissions authors to write them.
Philip is one of several authors who works on animal-fantasy series Warrior Cats under the name Erin Hunter, as well as Survivors and Bravelands.
But Working Partners confirmed that it has terminated her contract after her public support for JK Rowling.
A spokesperson from Working Partners said: “Erin Hunter is not a single person but a diverse team of creatives and writers.
“We recently became aware that Gillian Philip had associated the Erin Hunter pen-name with her personal views on Twitter, thus associating them with the whole collective.
“In light of this situation, the decision was taken to no longer work with Gillian Philip.
“The decision taken was not in direct response to the nature of Gillian’s personally expressed views.”
— Gillian Philip 🏁 #IStandWithJKRowling (@Gillian_Philip) June 7, 2020
HarperCollins UK, which publishes Warrior Cats, has distanced itself from Philip, saying that it “does not have a contract with this author” but contracts out to Working Partners.
Philip shared a statement with the Daily Mail, blaming an “abusive mob of anonymous Twitter trolls” for the loss of her job.
“I am disappointed that the hard work and professional attitude I have brought to my work for HarperCollins and for Working Partners counted for nothing in the face of an abusive mob of anonymous Twitter trolls,” Philip said.
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She added: “It is concerning that my concerns about women’s legal rights and spaces have been presented as ‘transphobia’, and that this accusation has been allowed to stand by my former employers.”
Since Philip was sacked, JK Rowling has continued to explain her anti-trans views, most recently branding healthcare for trans youth “a new form of conversion therapy”.
Four authors at Rowling’s publishing agency resigned over its lack of support for trans rights, after The Blair Partnership backed Rowling.