Author attacks employer after being sacked over JK Rowling The Times 10.08.20

The original article is here.

A children’s author has criticised the “spineless way” in which she was dismissed by her employer after supporting JK Rowling’s stand against allowing transgender people to self-identify as male or female.

Gillian Philip, from Glasgow, said her earnings have plummeted since the “summary sacking”, which she said demonstrated how a Twitter “mob” can destroy livelihoods. The author was employed by Working Partners, a fiction packaging firm that devises series for publishing houses and commissions authors to write them. She worked on popular animal fantasies for children aged between 8 and 12 for the Harper Collins imprint.

However, her tweet in June backing the Harry Potter author’s views unleashed a tirade of unprintable online abuse against her that included threats of death and sexual violence. Writing in The Mail on Sunday, she says the abuse began after Ms Rowling retweeted an article referring to “people who menstruate” and questioned why it avoided using the word “women”. Her retweet was greeted by an avalanche of criticism.

Ms Philip said that after Ms Rowling wrote an essay in response, revealing that she was a survivor of domestic abuse and arguing that allowing trans women access to single-sex spaces was a danger to women, she felt morally unable to stay silent and added #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter handle.

“What did surprise — and devastate — me was the cataclysmic fallout over the next 24 hours. I couldn’t have dared to imagine the damage that it was possible for a faceless mob of trolls to inflict,” she wrote. “But much more of a shock was the spineless way that my publishers capitulated in the face of this foamflecked online protest. They summarily sacked me and, in doing so, destroyed my livelihood without making any attempt to hear my side of the story.”

She was asked to speak to Chris Snowdon, the managing director of Working Partners. The news was devastating, she said. “‘Harper Collins say you’re out’, Chris told me. ‘They don’t want you involved in any of the books’.”

Harper Collins UK said it does not have a contract with the author.