After the beloved Harry Potter author’s recent comments affecting the transgender community, staff of the publishing house Hachette U.K. raised concerns and reluctance over working on J.K. Rowling’s new book The Ickabog.
In contrast, the publisher stands by Rowling in accordance to the right to freedom of speech and respecting the different worldviews of others.
“We are proud to publish J K Rowling’s children’s fairytale The Ickabog,” Hachette UK’s statement reads, “Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of publishing. We fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to express their own thoughts and beliefs. That’s why we never comment on our authors’ personal views and we respect our employees’ right to hold a different view.”
Rowling’s new children’s book The Ickabog was announced in May and released for free online as the author’s initiative to entertain children and benefit groups affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The print illustrated edition of the story would soon arrive in November 2020.
“We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but we draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book because they disagree with an author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our belief in free speech,” reads the statement.
The publishing house is currently approaching their employee’s with empathy and compassion as they hope to continue the progress on The Ickabog, according to the The Bookseller.