Warner Bros. Discovery defends J.K. Rowling after she received a death threat over publicly supporting Salman Rushdie
- J.K. Rowling received an online threat after supporting author Salman Rushdie on Twitter.
- Warner Bros. Discovery said it condemned the threat in a statement to Insider.
J.K. Rowling faced an online threat after publicly supporting author Salman Rushdie, prompting Warner Bros. Discovery to defend the "Harry Potter" creator.
Rushdie, 75, was set to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution on Friday in Chautauqua, New York, when he was attacked on stage and stabbed roughly 10 times. Rushdie, who authored "The Satanic Verses," received an outpouring of tributes online, including two tweets by Rowling.
Hours after the attack, Rowling, 57, responded to a tweet from The Associated Press about Rushdie, calling the incident "horrifying news."
"Feeling very sick right now. Let him be ok," Rowling added.
Following her tweet, one user in Rowling's comment section threatened her, writing, "Don't worry you are next." Rowling shared screenshots of the interaction and tagged the official Twitter Support page for an intervention.
"@TwitterSupport any chance of some support?" Rowling wrote before referencing Twitter's user guidelines in a separate post.
On Sunday, Warner Bros. Discovery stepped in to defend Rowling, saying they "condemn" the threat and stand with authors who "bravely express their creativity and opinions," in a statement to Insider.
"Warner Bros. Discovery strongly condemns the threats made against JK Rowling. We stand with her and all the authors, storytellers and creators who bravely express their creativity and opinions," the statement read. " 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."
When reached for comment by Insider, a representative for Rowling declined to comment further.
Rowling, who resides in Scotland, thanked fans on Twitter Saturday for their support and shared that police were involved. A police spokeswoman confirmed to Reuters that authorities are investigating the threat in Scotland.
"We have received a report of an online threat being made and officers are carrying out enquiries," the spokesperson told the outlet.
Rushdie was hospitalized following the attack, after being stabbed roughly 10 times
Following the attack on Friday, Salman's agent told The New York Times he was initially placed on a ventilator and suffered severe damage.
"The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," his agent told NYT, adding that Rushdie could not speak. Salman was taken off a ventilator on Saturday and is now able to speak.
Fox News reported that authorities identified Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from Fairview, New Jersey, as a suspect. The outlet said on Saturday that Matar was charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Rushdie received death threats for years following the debut of his fourth novel, "The Satanic Verses," in 1998
"The Satanic Verses" sparked backlash since it was published in 1998 over its depiction of the prophet Muhammad.
The novel was banned in India before Africa, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia issued similar rules. It also sparked protests among Muslims, and one protest staged in the United Kingdom saw a copy of "The Satanic Verses" burned.
One year after the novel was published, Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for the deaths of Rushdie and his publishers.
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