Oxfam denies cartoon woman with 'terf' badge in Pride video is JK Rowling

A cartoon depiction of a woman wearing a ‘terf’ badge in a Pride video by a charity was not intended to portray Harry Potter author JK Rowling, the organisation has insisted.

Oxfam International was forced to remove, edit and repost a video it had shared on social media which showed a woman wearing a ‘terf’ (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) badge, which many on social media said looked like the outspoken writer.

However, a statement from Oxfam International said ‘there was no intention by Oxfam or the filmmakers for this slide to have portrayed any particular person or people’.

Rowling, 57, has previously been criticised for her staunch views on gender identity, which she first revealed in a tweet in 2019, expressing support for tax expert Maya Forstater, who lost her job over her own tweets made about transgender people.

Forstater later took the case to an employment tribunal on the grounds that her dismissal constituted discrimination against her beliefs, which she won.

Oxfam International’s original cartoon depicted three red-eyed figures scowling and pointing fiercely at a group of small rainbow-coloured people, depicting the LGBTQ+ community.

The central figure appeared to be female with auburn hair in a similar shade and style to Rowling’s, with people alleging it was ‘clearly’ meant to be the Cormoran Strike author.  

An Oxfam International spokesperson commented in a statement shared online: ‘Oxfam believes that all people should be able to make decisions which affect their lives, enjoy their rights and live a life free of discrimination and violence, including people from LGBTQIA+ communities.

‘In efforts to make an important point about the real harm caused by transphobia, we made a mistake.

‘We have therefore edited the video to remove the term ‘terf’ and we are sorry for the offence it caused. There was no intention by Oxfam or the film-makers for this slide to have portrayed any particular person or people.

She has also said she doesn’t care about ‘ruining’ her legacy by discussing the topic publicly, but admitted it would have been ‘easier’ to not wade in on the debate.

In March in an episode of podcast The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, the writer said she ‘absolutely knew’ that her comments and views on transgender issues would make Harry Potter fans ‘deeply unhappy’, but felt that the gender identity movement ‘echoes’ what she was ‘warning against’ in her best-selling books.

Stars of the Harry Potter franchise – including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – also spoke out publicly in opposition to her views on gender, although others have chosen to defend her.

A rep for Rowling told Metro.co.uk that the author wouldn’t be commenting.

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