Co Derry man’s apology to JK Rowling over ‘Nazi’ comment attracts 10 million views

The Harry Potter author has faced fierce backlash because of her views and statements about transgender individuals

JK Rowling© Getty Images

Staff reporterBelfast Telegraph

A Derry man who once looked up to Harry Potter author JK Rowling as an “icon” has issued a public apology after calling her a “Nazi” on social media.

The apology from Joseph James ‘JJ’ Welles which has attracted almost 10 million views came on the back of Rowling warning that she was prepared to raise the matter with his solicitor.

The best-selling writer has faced fierce backlash from former fans because of her views and statements about transgender individuals and biological sex.

Rowling first made headlines in June 2020 after sharing a series of tweets on her thoughts regarding the concept of sex.

"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased," she tweeted at the time.

"I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth."

This attracted widespread criticism and insults aimed at Rowling.

In December 2022, Rowling responded to comments from actor and drag queen, JJ Welles.

She wrote: "The thing about the solicitors game is everyone can play, JJ.

“I ignored your 'hyperbolic metaphor' about burning me to death in 2020, but I'm starting to think that was a mistake.

“What's your solicitor's view on this Nazi accusation? Would they advise you to defend it in court?"

JJ Welles posted a now-deleted tweet that said Rowling was "a nazi or at least has views that align with them."

Rowling responded with a threat of legal action in December, "Okey dokey, JJ, we’ll play it your way. Give my regards to your solicitor!"

On Monday, two months after the Nazi accusation, Welles issued a retraction.

"I would like to publicly apologise for a previous Twitter thread where I interacted with JK Rowling on matters relating to the transgender community. I have now removed these tweets and would like to apologise to JK Rowling directly for causing potential upset," he wrote.

“I failed to choose my words with care and would like to retract my previous statements relating to her views on the LGBTQ+ and more specifically, transgender people.

“I would also like to retract my likening to JK Rowling to any far right or Nazi organisation and emphasise I do not wish any individual, inclusive of JK Rowling, to come to any harm.”

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Rowling is set to release a podcast series titled "The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling," which is scheduled to premiere February 21.

In the podcast, Rowling talks "about the controversies surrounding her – from book bans to debates on gender and sex.

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