Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is currently trying to cancel the existence of Ukraine with a horrifying and unprovoked invasion, is claiming that, actually, he’s a victim of cancel culture, just like J.K. Rowling.
In a speech on Friday, March 25th, this century’s most infamous war criminal tried to position the brutal slaughter of Ukrainian citizens as a necessity in the face of Western intolerance. In a translation from Sky News, he first argued that Russia’s contributions to World War II had been erased from American films, saying, “They just cancel the contribution of the Red Army.”
Then Putin defended Y.A. publishing’s most notorious transphobic bigot: “They canceled Joanne Rowling recently — the children’s author, her books are published all over the world — just because she didn’t satisfy the demands of gender rights.”
He added, “They are now trying to cancel our country. I’m talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia,” before comparing this “cancel culture” to Nazis who burned books in the 1930s. “We remember the footage when they were burning books,” he said. “It is impossible to imagine such a thing in our country and we are insured against this thanks to our culture.”
Unsurprisingly, Rowling has issued a response, tweeting, “Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics. #IStandWithUkraine.”
The Harry Potter author has been a vocal defender of Ukrainian sovereignty, using her charity Lumos to provide aid to orphaned Ukrainian children. In recent weeks, Ukraine has been one of her two most common subjects of tweets, alongside a proposed Scottish law that would make it easier for trans people to have their gender identity affirmed by the government.
While the Gender Recognition Reform Bill confers no new rights on trans individuals, instead simply cutting down a two-year governmental application process to a six-month application process, Rowling has consistently argued that this reduction in red tape will somehow lead to an increase in sexual assaults. But despite what Putin said, Rowling has not been cancelled. In fact her most recent book under her Robert Galbraith pseudonym was the bestselling book in the UK, despite the fact– or perhaps because of the fact — that the villain was a male serial killer who wears dresses. Her latest film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, comes to theaters April 15th.
Putin’s comments about “cancel culture” are just the latest example of how the American right’s culture wars are being coopted by fascist movements around the globe. Last month, a Brazilian podcaster who said he explicitly styled his show on The Joe Rogan Experience sparked a national conversation about free speech after arguing that Nazis should have the right to form a Nazi Party. Meanwhile, French politicians have taken to bashing “le wokeisme,” while arguing that France doesn’t have a racism issue, and far-right Hindu nationalists in India arrested a popular Muslim comedian on the grounds that he was trying to cancel Hindus.
"It's impossible to imagine such a thing in our country"
President Vladimir Putin uses J K Rowling as an example of Western cynicism and "cancel culture", which he says is currently being aimed at Russia.
Latest on Ukraine: https://t.co/XTFXr6HmAe
📺 Sky 501 and YouTube pic.twitter.com/TyH9lddC5k
— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 25, 2022
Critiques of Western cancel culture are possibly not best made by those currently slaughtering civilians for the crime of resistance, or who jail and poison their critics. #IStandWithUkraine https://t.co/aNItgc5aiW
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 25, 2022