Irish broadcasting regulator rules it's 'not fair' to brand JK Rowling 'a transphobic bigot'
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Irish broadcasting regulator rules it's 'not fair' to brand JK Rowling 'a transphobic bigot'

AN IRISH broadcasting regulator has ruled that it was "not fair" for a radio show panellist to brand Harry Potter author JK Rowling "a transphobic bigot".

Complaints were made to Today FM in September last year when a guest on The Last Word with Matt Cooper made the stark accusation.

Rowling has been embroiled in controversy for the last year or so due to comments she's made about women's rights and the transgender community.

However, after reviewing the situation, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) judged that it was "not fair" to brand Rowling "a transphobic bigot" as there was no evidence to back up the claim.

They added that the show's hosts failed to challenge the statement, ruling that the Code of Fairness, Objectivity and Impartiality in News and Current Affairs was breached.

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In its ruling, the BAI said: "The Committee were of the view that, given the seriousness of the statements made by the panel member, and the lack of challenge by the presenter, the broadcast was not fair.

"As such, the Committee upheld this complaint."

Rowling has for years been a keen advocate for women's rights, but her criticism of terms like 'people who menstruate' (used instead of 'women) has drawn the ire of the online social justice movement.

"If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived experience of women globally is erased," Rowling added.

"I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.

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"It isn't hate to speak the truth."

Following a fierce backlash, as well as criticism from Harry Potter stars Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe, Rowling posted a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing that she was sexually assaulted in her 20s, and was a victim of domestic violence during her first marriage, and that her views are borne from the need to protect women - not to exclude or persecute trans people.

Robbie Coltrane - who played Hagrid in the Harry Potter films - defended the author, insisting that what she has said isn't offensive at all.

"I don't know why but there's a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended," Coltrane told the Radio Times.

"That's me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, 'Oh get over yourself'."