The BBC issued a second apology to author JK Rowling after she was accused on live television of being transphobic, according to Deadline.
During BBC Radio Scotland’s “Good Morning Scotland” show Feb. 10, a transgender woman said she boycotted the new Harry Potter video game “Hogwarts Legacy” because the game’s revenue was allegedly used to “fund the anti-trans movement,” according to Deadline. The game will feature a transgender character, Sirona Ryan, who owns the Three Broomsticks pub. Ryan tells players in the game that Hogwarts classmates had to realize the character was “actually a witch, not a wizard.”
Broadcaster and writer Carrie Marshall said on the podcast that “this is having a measurable effect on trans people’s lives and potentially our safety too. I think that’s why so many trans people are concerned about this game,” according to Deadline.
Viewers reportedly expressed their outrage over the discussion, prompting the BBC to issue an apology.
“The debate got into the issue of gender identity and claims were made about JK Rowling’s views. We accept that the programme failed to challenge these claims and acknowledge that our contributors gave their opinion as fact,” the network said, according to Deadline. “This fell below the rigorous editorial standards we’ve applied to our broad coverage of trans and gender recognition stories across BBC Scotland’s news and current affairs output, and we apologise for that.”
The network previously issued an apology to Rowling after transgender gamer and guest Stacey Henley accused Rowling of transphobia, Deadline reported.
Henley alleged Rowling was promoting “transphobia” and a “campaign against trans people,” according to Daily Mail. (RELATED: School Changes Name Over J.K. Rowling’s Trans Comments)
Host Evan Davis responded that “obviously, JK Rowling … wouldn’t say she’s transphobic,” according to the outlet. Some then pushed back, arguing Davis did not do enough to counter Henley’s claims. A BBC spokesperson later issued an apology, saying, “This is a difficult and contentious area which we do try very hard to cover fairly,” Daily Mail reported.
“However, we should have challenged the claims more directly and we apologise that we did not,” the spokesperson continued.
Rowling has been outspoken against redefining womanhood to include biological men. She started a women-only service for sex abuse victims in December 2022, and also criticized the Scottish government for reportedly logging male rapists as “female” simply because they claimed to be women.