Graham Norton discusses J K Rowling and transphobia discourse

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Mariella Frostrup, 59, has spoken up about the recent interview she had with Graham Norton, 59, at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Graham slammed the idea of “cancel culture” during their sit down but declined to comment on the criticism aimed at Harry Potter author JK Rowling, 57.

In view of her 75,500 Twitter followers, Mariella shared an article entitled “Why won’t Graham Norton speak up for JK Rowling?”

Above the article, she commented: “Still baffled by the 4 million views of my interview clip but delighted to spawn this interesting piece.” (sic)

It comes just days after Graham told Mariella that “cancelled” is “the wrong word” to use.

“I think the word should be accountability,” he told the presenter during the clip, which was posted online on Wednesday. 

The Spectator article Mariella shared, which was written by Brendan O’Neill, condemned Graham’s reaction to the mention of JK. 

In the article, Brendan wrote: “Graham Norton was asked about the deluge of hateful slurs and threats that are frequently fired at JK Rowling and he dodged the issue. 

“Instead he rambled on about how celebs should not comment on difficult topics like transgenderism.”

Later on in the piece, he insisted that Graham “chose to skip over the persecution of Rowling”.

“He was making fun of ‘men of a certain age’ like John Cleese who complain about being cancelled. Then the host, Mariella Frostrup, brilliantly turned it around,” he explained. 

At this point in Mariella’s interview, she had told Graham that “Old blokes are an ‘easy target’” and asked about JK, whom she described as a woman “deluged with…anger, rage and attempts at censorship.”

Graham then sidestepped the question about the author to make a wider point about the importance of talking to trans people, doctors and other experts who can “illuminate” the issue further, insisting his “voice adds nothing” to the discussion.

Mariella’s sharing of Brendan’s article calling for Graham to “show solidarity” for women “threatened with sexual assault or death” for their views on transgender issues suggests that she was also interested to hear more from Graham on the matter. 

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Express.co.uk have contacted Graham Norton’s representatives for comment.

While the Graham Norton Show presenter held back on speaking about JK, he was fairly forthright about his feelings on cancel culture. 

“You read a lot of articles in papers by people complaining about cancel culture and you think, in what world are you cancelled?” he asked Mariella exasperatedly.

“I’m reading your article in a newspaper, or you’re doing interviews about how terrible it is to be cancelled? 

 

“I think the word is the wrong word. I think the word should be accountability. 

“John Cleese has been very public recently about complaining about what you can say and I just think it must be very hard to be a man of a certain age, who’s been able to say whatever you like for years, and now suddenly, there’s some accountability there. It’s free speech but not consequence-free.”

Express.co.uk have contacted John Cleese for comment. 

Graham Norton’s big sit-down with Mariella Frostrup is available to watch here

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