Graham Norton takes down Twitter account after JK Rowling criticises his comments on trans rights

For several years now, Rowling has been surrounded by controversy due to her gender beliefs and a series of anti-transgender tweets posted in 2020.
Graham Norton. ( File Photo| YouTube screen grab)
Graham Norton. ( File Photo| YouTube screen grab)

WASHINGTON: Soon after 'Harry Potter' author JK Rowling criticized Graham Norton over his comments about transgender people made in a recent interview, the Irish actor and host left Twitter.

According to Deadline, the row started after Norton was commended by singer-songwriter Billy Bragg for his position on trans rights made at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

Rowling, who has often clashed with trans activists on social media, told Bragg he was "supporting rape and death threats" by backing Norton, who appeared to have actually said very little to spark the controversy.

When questioned on Rowling's position on trans rights, Norton had said: "When I'm asked about it, I become a part of it. My voice adds nothing to that discussion and I'm sort of embarrassed that I'm somehow drawn into it.

"If people want to shine a light on those issues then talk to trans people. Talk to the parents of trans kids, talk to doctors, talk to scientists. Talk to someone who can illuminate it in some way," he added.

The comments were part of an answer to an initial question about 'Monty Python' star John Cleese, who often criticizes what he sees as cancel culture.

Norton said so-called 'cancel culture' was another phrase for 'accountability' facing celebrities over their words.

However, in criticizing Bragg, Rowling wrote: "Enjoying the recent spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats. You may mock, but takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet."

Neither Norton nor Bragg had referenced rape or death threats in their statements and following Rowling's tweet, Norton has since deleted his @grahnort account.

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The New Indian Express