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Jameela Jamil unfollows JK Rowling on Twitter over transgender comments

Julia Hunt
Contributor
Jameela Jamil attends the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Alice Tully Hall in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Jameela Jamil has urged JK Rowling to use her “immense power” to “protect those most at risk” as the author faces increasing backlash over a tweet that has been called “transphobic”.

The Good Place actress also revealed she has decided to unfollow the Harry Potter writer on Twitter.

Read more: JK Rowling sparks backlash for backing woman over transgender comments

The controversy started when Rowling gave her support to Maya Forstater, a thinktank researcher who lost her employment tribunal after her opinions on sex were ruled "absolutist".

JK Rowling attends the HBO Documentary Films premiere of "Finding the Way Home" at 30 Hudson Yards in 2019 in New York (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Forstater lost her job as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Developments after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex while voicing opposition to government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

Rowling defended Forstater on Twitter, writing: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security.

“But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?

“#IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."

Jamil is among those who have taken issue with Rowling’s stance, and responded by posting a message on Twitter saying that she was unfollowing her.

She wrote: “Please follow more trans people, please read about their experiences in this world and know you are contributing to their erasure, abuse and suffering by supporting those who deny their identity/existence.

“Please wield your immense power to protect those most at risk. @jk_rowling.”

She went on: “Some people think unfollowing=cancelling.

“1) it isn’t, it’s just protecting your headspace from upsetting content. Which I recommend doing. If you want to find toxicity you can search for it, but best have that happen on your terms.

“2) cis white billionaires are un-cancellable.”

Jamil is not the only star to speak out.

Read more: Jameela Jamil says she once attempted suicide

Patricia Arquette, whose late sister Alexis Arquette was transgender, tweeted: “I do not stand with Maya for many reasons.”

Former child star Mara Wilson, who appeared in films such as Matilda and Miracle On 34th Street, also responded.

She tweeted: “What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?”

Swimmer Sharron Davies tweeted that the sex we are “is a biological reality. A scientific fact”.

“Where as Gender today is a social construct, an ideology, a feeling, totally changeable,” added the Olympian.

“I believe we cannot change sex but can Live happily expressing ourselves outside of any stereotypes.”

Duncan Bannatyne posted the hashtag “#IStandWithMayaForstater”.

He said: “Although we must respect each and every transsexual it is not possible to change your biological sex.”