J.K. Rowling doesn’t support a petition asking the United Kingdom to ban Donald Trump, because she believes such a policy would be detrimental to free speech.
The “Harry Potter” author defended the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s right to be “offensive and bigoted” while accepting a Pen Literary Gala award for her dedication to free speech and social justice.
“Only last year, we saw a online petition to ban Donald Trump from entering the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures,” Rowling said Monday night at the event in New York City. When the audience started to applaud, the author said, “Just a moment.”
“Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there,” Rowling continued. “His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.”
Her comments about Donald Trump followed statements that her name has appeared on several lists of most frequently banned literature, but she is not offended and is actually “flattered” because her favorite authors are also featured on that list.
And she can take those things “lightly” because she comes from a “liberal nation,” where “freedom of expression is a fundamental right.”
“My critics are at liberty to claim that I am trying to convert children to Satanism, and I’m free to explain that I’m exploring human nature and morality, or to say ‘You’re an idiot,’ depending on which side of the bed I go out on that day,” she added.
She went on to explain that our society today wants “unwelcome voices be removed from public discourse.”
“It seems that unless a commentator or television program, channel, or newspaper reflects exactly the complainer’s worldview, it must be guilty of bias or corruption,” she said. “Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable.”
Watch the video above.