Fox and Owl and Drew

Oh that’s gotta hurt.

Four authors represented by JK Rowling’s literary agency have resigned after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights.

Ouch. Four! Resigned! Will the agency even survive?

Fox Fisher, Drew Davies and Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir said they could no longer work with the Blair Partnership, the London-based agency that represents all aspects of the Harry Potter author’s work, because they were not convinced the company “supports our rights at all avenues”. One other author is understood to have also quit the agency but wishes to remain anonymous.

Who?

In a joint statement, Fisher, Davies and Jónsdóttir said that following Rowling’s recent intervention on transgender rights, they had asked the agency “to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality”.

“Intervention”? What intervention? She wrote some words. She didn’t intervene in anything. That’s a snide way of implying she was aggressive and “violent” because she wrote some words, words that were partly about her own experience with literal violence.

However, following private talks, they said: “We felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful.”

Oh the horror. They told their agency to do some things and their agency declined to obey. How dare the agency not jump when they said jump.

A spokeswoman said it would always champion diverse voices and believe in freedom of speech for all but it was not willing to have staff “re-educated” to meet the demands of a small group of clients.

Good. Note that the Guardian puts scare-quotes on “re-educated” but not on “intervention.”

The authors’ public resignations pose a challenge for the publishing industry, which has traditionally prioritised freedom of speech but is facing rebellions from staff and clients over the views of authors.

No they don’t. The public resignations of nobodies don’t pose a challenge for the publishing industry.

Earlier this month, it was reported that staff at Rowling’s publishing house, Hachette, were told they could not refuse to work on her new children’s book because they objected to her views on transgender rights.

See? Not a challenge. Just say no – or, indeed, fuck off.

The Blair Partnership – which was founded in 2011 with Rowling as its key client – represented about 80 individuals before the resignations, including the boxer Tyson Fury, the cyclist Chris Hoy, and the former Labour politician Tom Watson.

And now represents about 76 individuals after the resignations, and will continue to flourish. (Tom Watson was a friend of my beloved friend Maureen Brian, so I know he’s good people.)

Jónsdóttir, also known as Owl Fisher, said they were happy with the Blair Partnership on a professional level but had asked the agency to make a public declaration of support for transgender rights following Rowling’s comments. The co-author of the Trans Teen Survival Guide suggested the literary agency should conduct staff training with the group All About Trans but “these requests weren’t met positively by the management”.

Good. Excellent. If the agency had made such a statement it would have been joining the public bullying of Rowling as well as endorsing fatuous bullshit about Magic Gender, so it’s very good that they refused to do so, and to be re-educated.

The Blair Partnership said:

We are disappointed by the decision that four clients have taken to part ways with the agency. To reiterate, we believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view. We respect their right to pursue what they feel is the correct course of action.”

Shorter: don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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