TV

Nicole Byer brutally roasts JK Rowling in new Netflix special: ‘Seems awful but whimsical!’

Jackson King December 24, 2021
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Nicole Byer roasted JK Rowling. (Netflix/Getty)

Nicole Byer takes aim at JK Rowling in her new Netflix stand-up special.

In Nicole Byer: BBW (Big Beautiful Weirdo), the Emmy-nominated actor and comedian criticises Rowling and jokes that she may have taken the plot for Harry Potter from the KKK (Ku Klux Klan).

“I think JK-KKK Rowling was sitting in that coffee shop taking a break from writing and hating trans people – it’s a full time job,” Byer says. “And she was perusing the internet and she was just like: ‘Oh, the KKK. Ooh that seems awful but also whimsical.'”

Twenty minutes into her hour-long set, Byer describes watching a documentary on the KKK while recovering from a dislocated ankle – during which, she said, she realised it “sounds like some Harry Potter shit.”

“In the KKK they have grand wizards,” she jokes. “What is Harry? A grand wizard. In the KKK they wear hooded cloaks. What do they wear at Hogwarts? Hooded cloaks.”

She goes on to compare Muggles to Black people, and the slur “Mudblood” with the N-word.

The unapologetically pro-trans comedy set comes amid ongoing controversy over Netflix’s comedy special The Closerwith Dave Chappelle, in which he proudly labels himself “team TERF” and says he agrees with Rowling.

Chappelle’s special drew widespread outrage and condemnation, however Netflix has refused to censor its anti-trans jokes, or label them as hate speech.

In October, Netflix staff and members of the trans community staged a protest against The Closer outside the streamer’s offices in Los Angeles. The demonstration was supported by celebrities such as Jonathan Van Ness and Jameela Jamil. 

In an interview with AFP, protest organiser Ashlee Marie Preston said: “We are here today not because we don’t know how to take a joke. We’re here because we’re concerned that the jokes are taking lives.”

JK Rowling has made headlines in recent days by once again tweeting about trans lives, leading Van Ness to accuse her of spouting “constant transphobic cherry-picked vitriol”.

JK Rowing has repeatedly denied that she is transphobic.

More: Dave Chappelle, JK Rowling, netflix, nicole byers

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