J.K. Rowling just came out in support of Donald Trump.
No need to assemble the DA in full-on revolt, though. What she was supporting was Trump’s right to be “offensive and bigoted” as a tenet of free speech — not his politics (*universal sigh of relief*).
In a speech at the 2016 PEN Literary Gala & Free Expression Awards in New York on Monday (May 16), where she was honored for her humanitarian work, she called out the double standards of the U.K.’s attempt to bar the presidential hopeful from entry. The 2015 anti-Trump petition earned more than 585,000 signatures (when only 100,000 were needed) and made it all the way to Parliament in January.
After Rowling referenced the petition on Monday, eliciting cheers from the crowd, she quickly cut them off and schooled them in free speech.
“Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable,” she clarified. “I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot.”
If Trump wasn’t allowed to travel based on his (hateful, awful) words, she continued, then she would have “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.” She also referenced her own experience being criticized by extremist religious groups for presenting "Harry Potter"’s “satanic” themes to children, saying she is “free to explain that I’m exploring human nature and morality, or to say ‘you’re an idiot,' depending on which side of the bed I got out of that day.”
By the speech’s end, I can only assume the audience members who had initially cheered at the petition’s mention felt like proper fools.
And to be especially clear, Rowling is indeed vehemently opposed to Trump’s presidential aspirations, having compared him to another villainous bigot we know all too well.