Rowling, Rushdie and Atwood rally against ‘cancel culture’: 150 authors and academics sign open letter denouncing ‘public shaming’ and ‘intolerance’
The Harry Potter author has joined Sir Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and other prominent individuals from the arts in signing a letter warning open debate is being weakened in favour of ‘ideological conformity’.
The 150 signatories say recent protests for racial and social justice are a ‘needed reckoning’ but fear freedom of speech is becoming ‘more constricted’ every day. The letter, published in Harper’s Magazine, comes amid a debate over so-called cancel culture, where public figures are boycotted and shamed for perceived offensive acts.
It states: ‘The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: An intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.’