Say what you will about John Waters — his movies are kinda gross, his mustache is weirdly thin, etc. — but the director can usually be counted on to have some pretty leveled-headed and based takes. Whether it be Anna Wintour's lack of humor or his suggestion that we should only have transgender people in the army after Trump's trans military ban, Waters has a history of publicizing his accurate, if spicy, opinions so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that he's not afraid to call J.K. Rowling out on her transphobia.
“I have a thing about who I would cancel: J.K. Rowling,” Waters tells the New York Times in a new interview promoting his debut novel, Liarmouth. “Give her some Preparation H for that transphobia. What’s the matter with her?”
Once a beloved children's author, J.K. Rowling sullied her name after doubling down on abhorrent TERF talking points. Escalating from one-off tweets to her infamous “people who menstruate" op-ed and writing a novel about a crossdressing serial killer, Rowling's transphobia has grown from subtle to outright blatant over the past few years. Rowling recently even went out of her way to target Scotland’s LGBTQ+ legislation in her International Women's Day celebration post.
To be fair, Rowling has been called out before and faced a significant backlash for her entrenched myopic views on gender so it's not like canceling her is an unpopular position to take. What Waters does have, however, is the moral high ground, having recently opened the Baltimore Museum of Art's first ever gender-neutral bathrooms. “When I heard the new restrooms could be remodeled for all genders, I was even more excited,” Waters said at the unveiling of his namesake porcelain throne. “I could be part of a much-needed public elimination upgrade. Finally, we could all go to the bathroom together in full privacy. That’s what I call progress!”
Broaching the topic of cancel culture, Waters explained that “it’s a good thing we are not going retroactive here because practically every artist would be cancelled,” but that doesn't preclude contemporary artists being held accountable for their words or actions. “There are people I would like to cancel, but at the same time I’m saying it humorously.”
Still, Waters does have a suggestion on how handle transphobes going forward: “We should have fecal mobs go out and perform turd terrorism to prove that we’re serious about policing pronouns.”
Photo via Getty/ Elisabetta Villa
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