Billy Bragg Clashes With JK Rowling | News

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English songwriter Billy Bragg has clashed with JK Rowling online.

The folk-leaning songwriter has long espoused Left-Wing and progressive causes, and recently spoke out in support of the trans community. His song ‘Sexuality’ previously dealt with different forms of love, with Billy updating the lyrics to make it a more trans-inclusive song. At the time, he commented: “I want to be an ally to the trans and non-binary communities…”

A clip of TV host Graham Norton discussing so-called ‘cancel culture’ went viral this week, and it included a pointed question that referenced Harry Potter author turned gender-critical advocate JK Rowling.

Billy Bragg shared the clip, noting the need for “accountability” before asking “that the media talk directly to trans teens and their parents rather than merely amplifying the takes of a celebrity.”

JK Rowling spotted this mention, quote-tweeting Billy Bragg and stating: “Very much 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 to those who dare disagree. You may mock, but takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet.”

Noting her enormous online audience, Billy Bragg quickly fired back: “Hard to think of anything that better illustrates Graham Norton’s point than the sight of someone with 13.9m followers reacting to a call for a fair hearing for trans teens and their parents by equating it to *checks notes* support for rape and death threats.”

JK Rowling then added: “Hard to think of anything that better illustrates misogyny than men complaining that a woman has a view on woman’s rights.”

An aggrieved Billy Bragg fired back: “I’m not complaining that you have a view, JK. I’m complaining that you conflate my view with support for rape and death threats. I have never expressed such sentiments and if you had any self respect you would apologise for making such a blatantly inflammatory accusation.”

Ramping up her tone, JK Rowling then insisted that the songwriter had “compared feminists to Nazi eugenicists” before asking: “Do you believe threats of rape and murder are acceptable ‘accountability’?”

Billy Bragg then finished by asking JK Rowling to retract her words: “No I do not. I believe that any abuse is unacceptable and those who make such threats should be held to account, no matter what cause they claim to be upholding. That’s why I am appalled by your accusation that I support such vile behaviour. Will you please retract your comment.”

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