Scots author sacked for backing JK Rowling

A Scottish author has been sacked for supporting JK Rowling over a Twitter row over transgender rights.
Author Gillian Phillip was fired for tweeting support for JK Rowling in her row with Trans activistsAuthor Gillian Phillip was fired for tweeting support for JK Rowling in her row with Trans activists
Author Gillian Phillip was fired for tweeting support for JK Rowling in her row with Trans activists

Glasgow-born children’s novelist Gillian Philip has been removed from the team that produces books under the pen-name of Erin Hunter after she tweeted #ISTANDWITHROWLING in support of the Edinburgh-based Harry Potter author.

Rowling last month retweeted an article referring to “people who menstruate” and questioned why the story did not use the word “women”. She was subsequently accused of being transphobic.

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In a statement, Philip, who is one of several authors writing under the name Erin Hunter on popular animal fantasy series including Warrior Cats, Survivors and Bravelands, said: “I am disappointed that the hard work and professional attitude I have brought to my work for HarperCollins and for Working Partners counted for nothing in the face of an abusive mob of anonymous Twitter trolls.

“It is concerning that my concerns about women’s legal rights and spaces have been presented as ‘transphobia’, and that this accusation has been allowed to stand by my former employers.”

The “fiction packaging” company where Ms Philip works, Working Partners, which commissions books in series aimed at older children, had received angry tweets from people calling for her to be fired.

@PhoenyxN wrote: “Fire and denounce Gillian Phillip. Warriors has a large, young, LGBTQIA+ fan base and this is horrific to see coming from one of the people associated with the books in any way. Please fire her and make sure to never hire another person like her again.”

Chris Snowdon, managing director of Working Partners, said: “Erin Hunter is not a single person but a diverse team of creatives and writers. We recently became aware that Gillian Philip had associated the Erin Hunter pen-name with her personal views on Twitter, thus associating them with the whole collective.

“In light of this situation, the decision was taken to no longer work with Gillian Philip. The decision taken was not in direct response to the nature of Gillian’s personally expressed views.”

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