Warner Bros. Discovery is coming to J.K. Rowling’s defense after the British author was threatened on social media following her comments about the recent attack on Salman Rushdie.
The Indian-born novelist was stabbed as he took the stage to deliver a lecture on Friday, sending shock waves throughout the literary world.
“Horrifying news,” the “Harry Potter” author tweeted after learning about the attack. “Feeling very sick right now. Let him be OK.” A Twitter user then responded to Rowling with the threat, “Don’t worry you are next.”
The exchange prompted the studio, which has brought Rowling’s Potterverse to the big screen among other projects over the past two decades, to speak out in a statement released on Sunday.
“Warner Bros. Discovery strongly condemns the threats made against J.K. Rowling,” the company said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We stand with her and all the authors, storytellers and creators who bravely express their creativity and opinions. WBD believes in freedom of expression, peaceful discourse and supporting those who offer their views in the public arena. Our thoughts are with Sir Salman Rushdie and his family following the senseless act of violence in New York. The company strongly condemns any form of threat, violence or intimidation when opinions, beliefs and thoughts might differ.”
Citing the social media platform’s anti-violence guidelines, Rowling appealed to Twitter directly, writing, “Any chance of some support?”
Shortly after, she shared that “police are involved” with the threat, thanking fans for their support and claiming authorities have already been investigating prior threats against her.
A spokesperson for Scotland’s police later confirmed to Reuters they had “received a report of an online threat being made” against Rowling and that “officers are carrying out enquiries.”
As of Sunday, Rushdie was talking and had been moved off a ventilator, but remains in critical condition, his son Zafar announced, describing his “life-changing injuries” as severe. The novelist suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, which he will most likely lose, according to his agent, Andrew Wylie.
The man accused of attacking Rushdie, whose 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” resulted in death threats against him from Iran’s leader, has been charged with attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in court on Saturday and is being held without bail in New York.
As for Rowling, this is the second instance in recent months in which Warner Bros. Discovery has publicly stood by her.
The relationship between Rowling and the studio has been tested in recent years over the author’s repeated transphobic comments, which have drawn ire from “Harry Potter” stars and fans alike.
Disputing a prior statement that Rowling is “not connected” to the studio back in June, Warner Bros. made it clear that it firmly stands by the controversial author.
“Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive, and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years,” the statement read at the time. “She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters, and stories to life now — and for decades to come.”
“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” the latest film to hail from Rowling’s fantasy world, hit theaters earlier this year.
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