The charity Oxfam was forced into deleting a LGBT Pride cartoon following accusation that a demonic-looking villain character bore a striking resemblance to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
To celebrate Pride month, Oxfam released a short cartoon on its Twitter account describing the hardships of LGBT people around and how they are “preyed on by hate groups online and offline”, the Daily Mail reported.
One of the villains of the short film, produced by the Bangalore-based Falana Films, is a red-haired woman who has a pin attached to her blouse reading “Terf”. The acronym, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist, has become a derogatory term used to brand opponents of far-left transgender ideology as being akin to a hate group.
The superficial resemblance of the woman to Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was not lost on many users on Twitter, particularly given that she is often referred to as a “Terf” in the legacy media and by activists over her opposition to what she sees as the encroachment into women’s spaces and rights by the transgender movement.
Following a steep backlash, Oxfam deleted the video, writing: “We have removed the post because of concerns raised with us. We will re-post shortly #ProtectThePride.” The charity later reposted the cartoon, without the Rowling-esque figure.
Still, many users online suggest that Rowling sue the charity, with GB News contributor Darren Grimes writing: “I hope J.K. Rowling, a philanthropist who could’ve been a billionaire had she not given away so much of her money, sues the misogynists at Oxfam for using her likeness to depict harms aimed at trans people.”
I hope @jk_rowling, a philanthropist who could’ve been a billionaire had she not given away so much of her money, sues the misogynists at @Oxfam for using her likeness to depict harms aimed at trans people. pic.twitter.com/Hu0Z9VN5cJ
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) June 6, 2023
The row followed reports that a volunteer at the Oxfam charity was given an apology after she had claimed that she was personally “hounded” by other charity workers for expressing support for the Harry Potter author.
The woman, referred to as Maria, claimed that a group of LGBT co-workers had encouraged others to report her for transphobia over backing Rowling. The affair resulted in her being fired, but she was eventually given an apology from the charity.
Others have pointed to the apparent hypocrisy of Oxfam for seemingly accusing Rowling of harm, when the charity has previously been at the centre of a child abuse scandal.
In 2019, the Charity Commission for England and Wales found that Oxfam had failed to sufficiently investigate allegations that staff had sexually abused children as young as 12-years-old in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake.
The report went on to say that the charity had failed to report the instances of child abuse, and that they had given lenient treatment to senior staff accused of molesting children compared to more junior members of its staff.
Oxfam Faces Fresh Child Sex Abuse Allegations Among ‘Sex for Aid’ Claims https://t.co/Qn820YKCuP
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 13, 2018
In a statement following the latest Rowling controversy, the charity said: “Oxfam believes that all people should be able to make decisions which affect their lives, enjoy their rights and live a life free of discrimination and violence, including people from LGBTQIA+ communities. In efforts to make an important point about the real harm caused by transphobia, we made a mistake.
“We have therefore edited the video to remove the term TERF and we are sorry for the offense it caused. There was no intention by Oxfam or the film-makers for this slide to have portrayed any particular person or people.
“We fully support both an individual’s rights to hold their philosophical beliefs and a person’s right to have their identity respected, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.”
J.K. Rowling Declares Gender Changes for Kids ‘One of the Worst Medical Scandals in a Century’https://t.co/3yznOiwPMT
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 30, 2023