Acclaimed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling backhandedly defended Donald Trump on Monday night, saying that even though the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is “offensive and bigoted,” he should not be banned from entering the United Kingdom.
The British author was delivering a speech at Pen America’s annual literary gala in New York — where she received a Literary Service Award for her commitment to free speech and social justice — when the topic of a proposed ban on Trump came up.
“Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry in the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures,” Rowling said, according to Time.
The author was referring to an online petition that garnered 570,000 signatures last January. As Breitbart London reported, the petition called on UK lawmakers to ban the real estate magnate from the country after he called for a temporary shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.
“Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable,” Rowling said. “I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there.”
Rowling has taken shots at the billionaire GOP frontrunner before.
In a tweet that was shared over a quarter-million times last December, Rowling wrote that Trump is worse than fictional Harry Potter super-villain Lord Voldemort.
How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad. https://t.co/hFO0XmOpPH
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 8, 2015
During her speech Monday, Rowling said that Trump’s freedom of speech guarantees her own, adding that “unless we take that absolute position without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination.”
Banning Trump for “offensive” speech, she said, would afford his opponents “no moral grounds on which to argue that those offended by feminism or the right for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes.”
“If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand along tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification,” Rowling said.
Watch a portion of Rowling’s speech above.