During a call with officials on Friday, March 25, Putin tried arguing that he has a lot in common with the Harry Potter author — a claim that didn’t seem to sit well with her.
He attempted to use Rowling’s previous scandals as an example of Western “cancel culture,” which he likened to the Western nations that he believes are just “trying to cancel” Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine.
But the novelist wasn’t too pleased about Putin’s comparison, prompting her to take to Twitter to call out his far-out claims.
“Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics,” she wrote in a Tweet on Friday, adding the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”
She also included a reposted article from BBC News to reference Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned Putin critic.
In his initial statement on Friday, Putin claimed that Western nations — which have lodged numerous sanctions against the invading nation — “are now trying to cancel our country. I’m talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia.” as Radar reported. He also went on to liken cancel culture to Nazis burning books in the 1930s.
When he mentioned Rowling, Putin explained that the West “canceled Joanne Rowling recently — the children’s author, her books are published all over the world — just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.”
As we know, the Fantastic Beasts writer faced major backlash after making offensive transphobic comments in the past.
In response to an article that used the phrase “People who menstruate,” Rowling tweeted: “People who menstruate. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpound? Woomd?,” causing an uproar among the LGBTQ+ community.
But despite her controversial history, Rowling doesn’t think her comments in the past should be considered on the same scale as Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine.
She followed up her Tweet on Friday with a series of messages about the emergency Ukrainian appeal set up by her charity Lumos, vowing to personally match all donations up to 1 million euros.