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Rowling outed herself with a single tweet when she expressed her support for transphobic researcher Maya Forstater. Fans of the Harry Potter author were saddened, though not surprised, to learn of her exclusionary ideals. Many of them took to Twitter to voice their dismay at the once-respected figure’s dismissal of trans people. So when Mark Hamill—who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga—liked Rowling’s tweet, Star Wars fans were immediately concerned. Thankfully, Hamill quickly recognized his error and explained his reasoning in a follow-up tweet.
Rowling’s original tweet came in response to recent news about Forstater. The tax expert’s contract was not renewed after her transphobic sentiments came to light. “Dress however you please,” Rowling wrote on Twitter. “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?”
Dress however you please.— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 19, 2019
Call yourself whatever you like.
Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you.
Live your best life in peace and security.
But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
The reaction to Rowling’s tweet was swift. One-time fans of the author soundly mocked her words, and a wave of support for trans rights swept Twitter. When Hamill, who remains a favorite thanks to his reportedly kind nature and unproblematic viewpoints, liked the tweet, people were understandably confused. Hamill has voiced his support for the trans community in the past, so users wanted to know why he would support such an exclusionary sentiment.
One user called Hamill out, asking after his reasoning for liking the tweet. “Ignorance is no excuse, but I liked the tweet without understanding what the last line or hashtags meant,” Hamill wrote in response. “It was the 1st 4 lines I liked & I didn’t realize it had any transphobic connotation.”
Ignorance is no excuse, but I liked the tweet without understanding what the last line or hashtags meant. It was the 1st 4 lines I liked & I didn't realize it had any transphobic connotation. https://t.co/vefcuZEQF9— Mark HoHoHoHamill (@HamillHimself) December 20, 2019
It was a simple explanation of a simple mistake, and people were all over it. “Literally the first celebrity IN HISTORY to say ‘oh I messed up, sorry,'” one commenter wrote.
We have no choice but to stan— Ashley Taylor Clark (@actually_taylor) December 20, 2019
Thank u for clearing that up and god bless pic.twitter.com/nTYfOauxlI— the lots of sex haver is online (@dontstanstates) December 20, 2019
Thank goodness he cleared that up.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.