Pointless host Alexander Armstrong and Death in Paradise star Ben Miller ‘stand in solidarity’ with JK Rowling

Nick Duffy September 28, 2020
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Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller

Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Pointless host Alexander Armstrong and Death in Paradise star Ben Miller have joined with Graham Linehan and supporters of the LGB Alliance in signing an open letter purporting to ‘stand in solidarity’ with JK Rowling.

Armstrong and Miller, previously a comedy double-act, were among more than 50 public figures and anti-trans campaigners who signed the letter published in The Sunday Times, which condemns the “insidious, authoritarian and misogynistic” opposition to Rowling on social media.

The letter claims that Rowling “has consistently shown herself to be an honourable and compassionate person” – just days after the Harry Potter author promoted a website selling “f**k your pronouns” and “sorry about your d**k bro” badges mocking the trans community.

It adds: “We wish JK Rowling well and stand in solidarity with her.”

Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are among the signatories to the letter defending JK Rowling
Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are among the signatories to the letter defending JK Rowling

Letter ‘opposing hate speech’ is signed by disgraced comedy writer banned from Twitter for hate speech.

The letter purports to stand up to “hate speech directed against her and other women”, although its signatories include former comedy writer Graham Linehan, who was banned from Twitter for violating the platform’s rules on hate speech with a years-long stream of messages targeting transgender women.

It is also signed by several figures from the LGB Alliance, a group claiming to represent everyday lesbian, gay and bisexual people that has curiously opted to focus once again on a straight cisgender multi-millionaire rather than do anything in support of LGBT+ people, homeless queers or vulnerable trans youth who need help and support.

Other signatories include Abigail Shrier, the author of a discredited book about “the transgender craze seducing our daughters”, and journalist Nick Cohen, who published a Spectator column defending Rowling’s recent book that failed to mention key details of the plot.

Also signing are Atonement author Ian McEwan, who has previously referred to transgender women as “men” and We Need to Talk About Kevin writer Lionel Shriver, who has described trans women as a “parody of the female wholly composed of surfaces”.

From the world of showbiz, and we use that word loosely, are 90s sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme star James Dreyfus, comedian Griff Rhys Jones, and actress Frances Barber, who has previously raged about “men with d**ks who pretend to be women” and retweeted messages describing the gay columnist Owen Jones as a “sucker of Satan’s c**k”.

The great ‘silencing’ of JK Rowling hasn’t actually silenced anyone at all.

Despite a football field’s worth of newspaper column inches dedicated to decrying the supposed “silencing” of the Harry Potter author, we can’t help but note that Rowling doesn’t seem particularly silenced beyond people making clear they disagree with her regularly-espoused views.

Her latest novel has debuted at the top of the bestseller list despite including deeply transphobic tropes, and Fantastic Beasts 3, the latest entry in her lucrative if critically-panned film series, recently resumed production despite lead actor Eddie Redmayne distancing himself from her views.

More: Ben Miller, graham linehan, JK Rowling, transphobia

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