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Society of Authors chief faces calls to quit over 'disgusting' poll

Society of Authors chief Joanne Harris faces calls to quit after deleting ‘disgusting’ Twitter poll allegedly mocking JK Rowling

  • JK Rowling tweeted support for Sir Salman Rushdie in the wake of his stabbing
  • But author Miss Rowling received this response: ‘Don’t worry, you are next’
  • Joanne Harris was accused of mocking her with Twitter poll about death threats

Writer Joanne Harris last night faced calls to resign as chairman of the Society of Authors after she was accused of mocking JK Rowling with a ‘tasteless’ Twitter poll about death threats.

After tweeting her support for Sir Salman Rushdie in the wake of his stabbing on Friday, Miss Rowling received this response: ‘Don’t worry, you are next.’

Miss Harris, 58, wrote: ‘Fellow-authors… have you ever received a death threat (credible or otherwise).’ 

The response options were ‘Yes’, ‘Hell, yes’, ‘No, never’ and ‘Show me, dammit’, suggesting scepticism about how serious the threats were.

Novelist Simon Edge described the poll, which was later deleted, as ‘indefensible’ and said it’s ‘high time’ the Chocolat author stepped down. 

Writer Joanne Harris last night faced calls to resign as chairman of the Society of Authors after she was accused of mocking JK Rowling with a ‘tasteless’ Twitter poll about death threats

And writer Julie Bindel said it was ‘disgustingly inappropriate’. Police are investigating a report of an ‘online threat’ made to Miss Rowling.

In response to another critic on Twitter, Joanne Harris said: ‘I don’t hate JK Rowling, and have never said or implied as much.’

In 2020, 58 writers, journalists and actors signed a letter in the Sunday Times in support of Miss Rowling, condemning the ‘onslaught of abuse’ she had received after expressing her views on gender.

Three days later, Miss Harris was among more than 200 figures who published a statement in support of trans and non-binary people and their rights.

The Harry Potter author shared screenshots of a message from a user who had written ‘don’t worry you are next’ in response to her tweet about the Satanic Verses author 

Police are currently investigating a report of an ‘online threat’ made to Miss Rowling after she tweeted her reaction to the stabbing of Rushdie.

The Harry Potter author shared screenshots of a message from a user who had written ‘don’t worry you are next’ in response to her tweet about the Satanic Verses author.

Miss Rowling had said she felt ‘very sick’ after hearing the news and hoped the novelist would ‘be OK’.

After sharing screenshots of the threatening tweet, she said: ‘To all sending supportive messages: thank you Police are involved (were already involved on other threats).’

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