Vladimir Putin: J.K. Rowling and Russia Are Victims of Western “Cancel Culture”

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Russian leader Vladimir Putin made an unlikely reference to J.K. Rowling in his latest speech.

During a televised address Friday on state TV, Putin cited the Harry Potter creator, who has come under fire for statements she has made relating to transgender issues, as proof the West likes to “cancel” people, adding that this was something Russia was now facing.

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Putin said that Rowling was canceled because she “didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.”

He added: “They are now trying to cancel our country. I’m talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia,” and likened “cancel culture” to Nazis trying to burn books in the 1930s.

“We remember the footage when they were burning books,” he said. “It is impossible to imagine such a thing in our country and we are insured against this thanks to our culture. And it’s inseparable for us from our motherland, from Russia, where there is no place for ethnic intolerance, where for centuries representatives from dozens of ethnic groups have been living together.”

Rowling tweeted a comment that appeared to be a respond to Putin’s comments writing, “Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics. #IStandWithUkraine.” In follow-up tweets, Rowling shared a link to information about her children’s charity @lumos in #Ukraine. “Children trapped in orphanages and other institutions are exceptionally vulnerable right now. Thank you so, so much to everyone who has already donated to Lumos’s Ukraine appeal,” Rowling tweeted.

Putin’s speech comes more than a month after the invasion of Ukraine and after numerous Western companies paused operations in Russia and Russian individuals and businesses faced global boycotts.

March 25, 1:59 p.m. Updated with J.K. Rowling’s tweet.

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