J.K. Rowling has returned the prestigious Ripple of Hope award presented to her by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, citing her disagreement with the organization's president, Kerry Kennedy.
On Aug. 3, Kennedy said in a statement that she had spoken to Rowling to express "profound disappointment" in the author's remarks about the trans community. She shared her belief that Rowling's comments "diminishes the identity of trans and nonbinary people, undermining the validity and integrity of the entire transgender community."
She went on to say, "J.K. Rowling's attacks upon the transgender community are inconsistent with the fundamental beliefs and values of RFK Human Rights and represent a repudiation of my father's vision."
In response, Rowling shared her own statement on Aug. 27. The Harry Potter author wrote on her website, "The statement incorrectly implied that I was transphobic, and that I am responsible for harm to trans people."
"Kerry Kennedy, President of Robert F Kennedy Human Rights, recently felt it necessary to publish a statement denouncing my views on RFKHR's website," she continued. "As a longstanding donor to LGBT charities and a supporter of trans people's right to live free of persecution, I absolutely refute the accusation that I hate trans people or wish them ill, or that standing up for the rights of women is wrong, discriminatory, or incites harm or violence to the trans community."
Rowling added that she believes "an ethical and medical scandal is brewing," as supported by her discussions with "detransitioned young women" and "a wide range of professionals."
As a result, Rowling said she would be returning the Ripple of Honor award given to her in Dec. 2019. "I am deeply saddened that RFKHR has felt compelled to adopt this stance, but no award or honour, no matter my admiration for the person for whom it was named, means so much to me that I would forfeit the right to follow the dictates of my own conscience," she wrote.
The famous author most recently found herself under fire in July compared gender transitioning to "conversion therapy." She claimed, "Many, myself included, believe we are watching a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people, who are being set on a lifelong path of medicalization that may result in the loss of their fertility and/or full sexual function."
As Survivor star Zeke Smith explained to Rowling, "Hi! I'm a man! I menstruate! Stop being an a--hole!" He later alleged she was "denying that trans men exist and that all women menstruate."
Daniel Radcliffe also responded, writing on The Trevor Project blog, "Transgender women are women... Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."