J.K. Rowling’s new book is about a YouTube cartoon creator who becomes embroiled in cancel culture due to her transphobic and racist comments.
More akin to art imitating life than a fantasy novel, Rowling’s new crime thriller, The Ink Black Heart, penned under the name of Robert Galbraith is catching a lot of heavy criticism for depicting a character that mirrors her own life struggle with cancel culture.
The Ink Black Heart follows the story of Edie Ledwell, a YouTube creator who finds herself at the center of an online troll campaign after her cartoon is accused of being discriminatory, transphobic, and racist. Edie’s cartoon includes a scene with a transphobic comment about a hermaphrodite worm. Sound familiar?
Edie’s life comes to a brutal end in the novel when she is found stabbed to death in a cemetery. But not before being harassed, and subjected to death and rape threats.
The book takes a clear aim at “social justice warriors” and spells it out in black and white that Ledwell was a victim of a politically fueled hate campaign against her.
Murder aside, Rowling appears to have written about her own personal experience of being called out online for her own views of transgender which have led her to feel the full force of cancel culture from media and fans across the world.
From tweets that the author liked that described trans women as “men in dresses,” to making light of an opinion piece that used the term “people who menstruate,” the author appears to be digging yet more holes for herself as the backlash grows around her. Rowling has appeared to take an even stronger stance on her point of view, most recently protesting Scotland’s Gender Recognition Reform Bill that would simplify the process for people to legally change their genders.
Despite the novel showing a very real likeness to her own life experiences, Rowling has claimed that it’s all just a big coincidence. Speaking with Graham Norton the author shared “I should make it really clear after some of the things that have happened the last year that this is not depicting [that],” she said.
“I had written the book before certain things happened to me online,” she continued. “I said to my husband, ‘I think everyone is going to see this as a response to what happened to me,’ but it genuinely wasn’t. The first draft of the book was finished at the point certain things happened.”
So far, nobody seems to be buying it, with many critics calling out the obvious and giving the novel negative reviews.