The New York Times published a column supporting British author J.K. Rowling's views on transgender issues hours after hundreds of its own staff members signed an open letter accusing the publication of anti-trans bias.
In an opinion piece, Times columnist Pamela Paul wrote that the backlash Rowling has faced is "absurd" since Rowling posted several controversial tweets widely labeled as "transphobic" in 2021.
Paul wrote: "If more people stood up for J.K. Rowling, they would not only be doing right by her; they'd also be standing up for human rights, specifically women's rights, gay rights and, yes, transgender rights. They'd also be standing up for the truth."
Paul also referred to a podcast in which Megan Phelps-Roper, a former member of the Westboro Baptist Church, explored Rowling's views and the public outcry she has faced.
"As Rowling herself notes on the podcast, she's written books where 'from the very first page, bullying and authoritarian behavior is held to be one of the worst of human ills'," wrote Paul.
"Those who accuse Rowling of punching down against her critics ignore the fact that she is sticking up for those who have silenced themselves to avoid the job loss, public vilification and threats to physical safety that other critics of recent gender orthodoxies have suffered."
A day earlier, 170 staff members for the Times signed a letter addressed to the associate managing editor for standards for the publication in which they accused the Times of "editorial bias in [its] reporting on transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people," according to the Daily Mail.
They further stated that the Times "has in recent years treated gender diversity with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language, while publishing reporting on trans children that omits relevant information about its sources."
A second letter, published Wednesday by LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD and signed by various celebrities and activists, accused the Times of "irresponsible, biased coverage of transgender people," according to the Daily Mail.
"It is appalling that the Times would dedicate so many resources and pages to platforming the voices of extremist anti-LGBTQ activists who have built their careers on denigrating and dehumanizing LGBTQ people, especially transgender people," the letter read.
Charlie Stadtlander, a spokesperson for the Times, responded to critics, stating that the newspaper's stories on the subject were reported "deeply and empathetically," the Daily Mail noted.
"Our journalism strives to explore, interrogate and reflect the experiences, ideas and debates in society — to help readers understand them," said Stadtlander. "Our reporting did exactly that, and we're proud of it."
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
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