Rowling calls Trump bigoted

File photograph shows author J.K. Rowling hosting a fundraising evening at the Warner Bros. Studio in London.
File photograph shows author J.K. Rowling hosting a fundraising evening at the Warner Bros. Studio in London.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK • Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling labelled United States presidential candidate Donald Trump bigoted after receiving the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award in New York.

Rowling, who won the prize for her efforts to fight inequality and censorship, criticised the presumptive Republican nominee, who has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US.

But the British author stuck up for Trump's right to visit the United Kingdom, despite the outrage his remarks had caused in her homeland. "Now, I find almost everything that Mr Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive completely, but he has my full support to come to my country. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine," Rowling said to applause from the audience on Monday.

In January, British lawmakers debated a petition signed by more than half a million Britons to ban Mr Trump from Britain over remarks on Muslims, before deciding that the Republican candidate should be allowed to visit so his views could be challenged.

Rowling wrote on Twitter last year that Voldemort, the arch- villain of her popular Harry Potter series which has been published in more than 200 territories and spawned eight films and three theme parks, "was nowhere near as bad" as Trump.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2016, with the headline 'Rowling calls Trump bigoted'. Print Edition | Subscribe