When Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage in Chautauqua, New York on Friday, it sent waves of shock through the entire creative community. The novelist, who famously had a fatwa placed on him in 1989 by Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeini because of his controversial novel “The Satanic Verses,” was stabbed repeatedly and immediately rushed into surgery and placed on a ventilator. Though the author has now been taken off the ventilator and is expected to survive, many are still on edge about the idea of physical violence being used against artists.
Many authors took to social media to support Rushdie, including “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling. She called the attack “horrifying” and wrote that she was “sick” with worry about Rushdie. Soon after, she shared threats made in her replies telling the author that she is “next.” She asked for support from Twitter, then later revealed that she had involved the police.
While it is unclear if the Twitter threats had any connection to the attack on Rushdie, Warner Bros. Discovery made a public statement on Sunday condemning both the violence against Rushdie and the threats made to Rowling .
The full statement from the company reads: “Warner Bros. Discovery strongly condemns the threats made against J.K. Rowling. We stand with her and all the authors, storytellers and creators who bravely express their creativity and opinions. WBD believes in freedom of expression, peaceful discourse and supporting those who offer their views in the public arena. Our thoughts are with Sir Salman Rushdie and his family following the senseless act of violence in New York. The company strongly condemns any form of threat, violence or intimidation when opinions, beliefs and thoughts might differ.”
Rowling has recently been a lightning rod for controversy due to the author’s tendency to pick online fights with the trans community about issues relating to sex and gender. But this is not the first time that the studio behind the “Harry Potter” films has stood by her. In June, the company issued a statement saying that “Warner Bros. has enjoyed a creative, productive, and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years. She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters, and stories to life now – and for decades to come.”