JK Rowling accidentally tweets text with bad language from assault case - to child who shared their drawing of The Ickabog

JK Rowling has apologised after accidentally tweeting a section of text containing bad language from an assault case - to a child who shared their drawing of The Ickabog.

JK Rowling quickly apologised for the mistake.
JK Rowling quickly apologised for the mistake.

The author, famed for her Harry Potter books, is publishing her new children’s book online in installments over the next few weeks. Children are also being offered the chance to have their drawings featured in the book, and Rowling has been commenting on pictures shared with her on the social media platform.

But in one response today to a drawing by a nine-year-old girl, shared by her father, the author wrote: "I love this truly fabulous Ickabog, with its bat ears, mismatched eyes, and terrifying bloodstained teeth! In court, Wolf claimed the Facebook post in which he'd said he wanted to 'f*** up some TERFs' was just 'bravado.'"

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Rowling quickly realised the mistake and deleted the tweet.

The section of unwanted text related to the assault of feminist Maria Maclachlan by Transgender activist Tara Wolf during a demonstration at Hyde Park Speakers' Corner in 2017.

TERFs is a term that applies to trans-exclusionary radical feminists, a group which believes trans women should not have the same rights as people whose identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex.

In a subsequent tweet, Rowling said: "I'm going to say this once and I'm going to say it calmly and politely. I certainly didn't mean to paste a quotation from a message about the assault of Maria Maclaughlin into a tweet to a child, especially given the language used by the person convicted of the crime.

"However, I am not - as many of the people now swarming into my mentions seem to think - ashamed of reading about the assault. You should know by now that accusations of thought crime leave me cold. Take your censorship and authoritarianism elsewhere. They don't work."

The author also responded directly to the person who had sent in the drawing to say: "Sorry about the random and totally unconnected sentence that made its way in there. I accidentally pasted in part of a very un-Ickaboggish message I'd just received.

"Also, please check your DMs! There's a signed book for your daughter in it!"

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Writing on her official website, Rowling has said that the Ickabog would cover the themes of “truth and the abuse of power”.

The story itself was written by Rowling a decade ago as a gift to her children. She said that after enthusiastic backing from her kids she decided to release it for free to children as a distraction from Covid-19.

All author royalties will help groups who’ve been particularly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.