J.K. Rowling: Don't ban 'offensive and bigoted' Trump from UK

Story highlights

  • The author once said Trump was worse than her Harry Potter villain Voldemert
  • Rowling brought up Trump during a speech in New York to accept an award

Washington (CNN)J.K. Rowling, who once called Donald Trump worse than her fictional Harry Potter villain Voldemort, said Monday that the billionaire mogul has her support to visit the United Kingdom and "be offensive and bigoted there."

"Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry in the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures," she said at Pen America's annual literary gala in New York. "Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there."
    Rowling, who became famous for creating the iconic Harry Potter book series, was referring to the U.K. petition with more than 568,000 signatures to ban Trump from visiting.
    As a result of the petition, the British parliament held a debate but no vote in January, with lawmakers using the discussion to air their views on Trump under the protection of parliamentary privilege, which legally shields members from accusations of defamation or slander.
    Rowling, who accepted an award at the Pen gala for her humanitarian work, said the freedom that protects Trump's right to speak his mind also protects her right to "call him a bigot."
    "If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justifications," Rowling said in her speech.
    Last December, after Trump stood by his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims from entering the United States, Rowling tweeted, "How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad."