Snarky staff at NYC Union Square Barnes & Noble have a dig at JK Rowling with a display of ‘unproblematic wizarding books’ after Harry Potter author’s comments about trans community
A New York City Barnes & Noble threw Twitter into a tizzy over a snarky display for ‘Unproblematic Wizarding World’ books in an apparent slap at JK Rowling as the Harry Potter author continues to face backlash for her comments about the trans community.
The bookstore, located in Union Square, set up the display in early November, taking a jab at Rowling, 56, who enraged the trans community last year after she mocked an online article which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
The display at one of the few book stores left in the city features the works of Ursula Le Guin, Brandon Sanderson, Deborah Harkness and others who have written about magic and witchcraft, but are more obscure when compared to Rowling.
The Twitter storm comes as Rowling blasted three trans activists on Monday for trying to ‘intimidate’ her after they protested outside her house in Scotland before posting a picture of her address on social media.
A customer at a Barnes and Noble in Union Square, New York City, posted a pic of a display at the bookstore titled ‘The Unproblematic Wizarding Word’
The display has been up since early November at the NYC bookstore
The display took a jab at JK Rowling, who had been marred in controversy in recent years regarding comments she made against the trans community
The display was promoting books aside from Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series, which sprawled eight books that captivated the world
One Twitter user, Julie Bindel, lashed out against Barnes and Noble and stood by Rowling, writing that the bookstore only put up the display as a stunt because ‘the books that pay their salaries have plummeted.’
Another Twitter user with the handle ‘life neurotic with steve’s issues’ condemned the move against Rowling, and said in the grand scheme of things, ‘detractors will be long forgotten, remembered only as another bizarre episode of moral panic.’
‘Centuries from now, Rowling and Atwood will still be seen as two of our greatest writers they’ll live on in their works, as the world remains grateful for their contributions,’ they wrote.
One Twitter user with the handle ‘The Collector’ gave the Barnes and Noble the benefit of the doubt and believed the display was simply a joke.
‘Hopefully, it’s just meant to be tongue-in-cheek? I’d like to believe there’s still a place for humour in this world,’ they wrote.
Reactions about the book display ranged from outrage to humorous on Twitter
The Barnes and Noble in Union Square confirmed that they did have the display up but said they could not comment on it, referring all questions to the company’s corporate office.
Barnes and Noble did not immediately respond to the DailyMail.com’s request for comment.
Rowling has faced accusations of transphobia after she pushed back at the online article in June 2020. She later defended herself against the claims in a passionate essay but has continued to face criticism.
Rowling is a notable absence from the upcoming Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion in light of her views.
In the latest chapter of the saga, three activists posed outside Rowling’s Edinburgh home while holding pro-trans signs last Friday.
The author’s address was clearly visible in the background of a photo of the activists, that was shared widely on Twitter.
Hitting out at the trio, Rowling accused them of ‘doxxing’ her and trying to intimidate her for ‘speaking up for women’s sex-based rights’.
She identified the protesters as Holly Stars, Georgia Frost and Richard Energy.
She also revealed that she has received so many death threats over the trans row that she could ‘paper the house with them’.
Three activists stood outside JK Rowling’s Edinburgh home last Friday
Rowling (pictured in 2019) defended herself against three trans protestors who took photos in front of her home, in Edinburgh
Rowling accused the activitists of ‘doxxing’ her by showing where she lived
England’s government has criticized the targeting of JK Rowling by trans activists. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘I don’t think any individual should be targeted in that way.
‘We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that people are able to share their views as long as it is done in that fashion.’
Holly Stars later posted a statement on social media saying they had removed the photo after being inundated with abuse. Stars is a popular drag queen with her own Amazon Prime series. She is also a stand-up comedian, comedy writer, cabaret host and seen as one of the UK’s most popular drag talents.
She is the writer and star of the West End show Death Drop, currently embarking on its first UK tour and also produces and presents a monthly Soho cabaret.
Richard Energy, one of the other activists, is a drag king and comedian who performs across London. He has appeared in several contests and is considered a growing star in the scene. Georgia Frost, the third activist, is an actress who has appeared in BBC productions including Casualty and sitcom The Other One.
All three activists have now taken down their Twitter accounts in light of the row.
Addressing the activists, Rowling tweeted today: ‘Last Friday, my family’s address was posted on Twitter by three activist actors who took pictures of themselves in front of our house, carefully positioning themselves to ensure that our address was visible
The three trans activists who protested outside JK Rowling’s home and shared her address online
Holly Stars, Georgia Frost and Richard Energy were the three activists that appeared outside JK Rowling’s home before sharing her address.
Stars is a popular drag queen with her own Amazon Prime series. She is also a stand-up comedian, comedy writer, cabaret host and seen as one of the UK’s most popular drag talents.
Stars is the writer and star of west end show Death Drop, currently embarking on its first UK tour and also produces and presents a monthly Soho cabaret.
She grew up in Crewe, where she attended St Thomas More Catholic High School ‘towards the tail end of the Aids crisis’.
Stars now balances her time living in Chelsea and Paris.
She said London is a ‘more tolerant’ place than Crewe, but added ‘there is still a lot of work to be done’ in the capital.
Janina Smith, who performs as Richard Energy, is one of the other activists.
Energy is a drag king and comedian who performs across London.
The performer has appeared in several contests and is considered a growing star in the scene.
Georgia Frost, the third activist, is an actress who has appeared in BBC productions including Casualty and sitcom The Other One.
‘I want to say a massive thank you to everybody who reported the image to @TwitterSupport. Your kindness and decency made all the difference to my family and me. I’d also like to thank @PoliceScotland for their support and assistance in this matter
‘Over the last few years I’ve watched, appalled, as women like Allison Bailey, Raquel Sanchez, Marion Miller, Rosie Duffield, Joanna Cherry, Julie Bindel, Rosa Freedman, Kathleen Stock and many, many others, including women who have no public profile but who’ve contacted me to relate their experiences, have been subject to campaigns of intimidation which range from being hounded on social media, the targeting of their employers, all the way up to doxing and direct threats of violence, including rape.
‘None of these women are protected in the way I am. They and their families have been put into a state of fear and distress for no other reason than that they refuse to uncritically accept that the socio-political concept of gender identity should replace that of sex.
‘I have to assume that @IAmGeorgiaFrost, @hollywstars and @Richard_Energy_ thought doxxing me would intimidate me out of speaking up for women’s sex-based rights.
‘They should have reflected on the fact that I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out. Perhaps – and I’m just throwing this out there – the best way to prove your movement isn’t a threat to women, is to stop stalking, harassing and threatening us.’
In response, Holly Stars wrote: ‘Yesterday we posted a picture we took at JK Rowling’s house.
‘While we stand by the photo, since posting it we have received an overwhelming amount of serious and threatening transphobic messages so have decided to take the photo down. #transrightsarehumanrights. Love to our trans siblings.’
The post was signed ‘G, Richard, Holly’.
SNP MP Joanna Cherry, one of the women mentioned by Rowling, defended the author today.
She wrote: ‘ #IStandWithJKRowling & like her I will never give in to the lies, harassment, threats & intimidation of those who seek to silence our voices & I will continue to speak up for the sex-based rights of women & lesbians.’