If there’s anything we’ve learned over the last decade (and beyond) is that we never know what’s going to happen from day to day. Cases in point, emerging as important and inspiring examples of how the war against progressive bullies and the woke mob can be won is JK Rowling, author of the beloved Harry Potter series of books, and French cinema icon Catherine Deneuve.
If you think the woke cult is bad here in America, it’s even more unhinged in Europe where the left has had a stranglehold on government and culture for far too long. For years now, transgender extremists have been trying to ruin author JK Rowling. Her crime? She has the temerity to believe that transgender men and women are not the same as biological men and women, and she says so publicly and consistently. Nothing makes a leftist’s head explode like failing to frighten someone into submission.
You see, for progressive extremists and cults in general, this is a zero-sum game—either you pledge allegiance to their agenda completely and conform, or you are destroyed. At least that’s their threat. But the effort to cancel Rowling hit a massive roadblock when she refused to bow down. Nor has she made a hostage video admitting her thought crimes and vowing to ‘learn’ and do better.
Rowling is a feminist and left of center. Moreover, the Harry Potter books are all about people being able to be themselves no matter how different. But she, too, was going to be thrown on the pyre of cancellation until she refused to accept that fate. Because of her fortitude, the campaign to destroy Rowling has failed, most recently evidenced by the BBC greenlighting a new crime series by Rowling with a storyline about a creator being accused of transphobia, and HBO’s announcement of a new “Harry Potter” series, with a ten-year commitment, for their newly dubbed Max streaming platform.
Rowling is also serving as executive producer for the HBO project. Outkick reported, “When whispers started circulating a TV series with HBO was in the works, the first question many had was whether or not Rowling would be involved. After all, the entertainment industry and many of the people who she made very rich and famous – looking at you Daniel Radcliffe – turned their backs on her because she believes men are men and women are women…. Well, she’s absolutely going to be involved… That’s a huge win for fans. It will also be very fun to watch people meltdown at the fact Rowling just can’t stop winning.”
When HBO executives were excitedly quizzed by reporters about how they felt about Rowling’s opinions, the answer was clear. “Our priority is what’s on the screen. Obviously, the ‘Harry Potter’ story is incredibly affirmative and positive and about love and self-acceptance. That’s our priority — what’s on screen.” That’s another way of saying they don’t care to participate in the fake controversy ginned up by extremists meant to generate hate and division. Good for them.
And then there is the example of French cinematic icon Catherine Deneuve. She is now 80 years old and is internationally recognized for her contribution to film as an actor, efforts to protect creative freedom, and has a history of standing up for and fundraising on a variety of women’s issues and to improve children’s lives. But alas, Deneuve committed the new mortal sin of signing onto a letter in 2018 which asserted that the #MeToo movement had begun to turn into a witch hunt.
The open letter against the emerging extremism was signed by 100 women in the arts, academics, and writing, and read in part, “’What we are once again witnessing here is puritanism in the name of a so-called greater good, claiming to promote the liberation and protection of women, only to enslave them to a status of eternal victim and reduce them to defenseless preys of male chauvinist demons,’ the letter said. The letter attacked the #MeToo social-media campaign and its French equivalent… ‘But what was supposed to liberate voices has now been turned on its head: We are being told what is proper to say and what we must stay silent about — and the women who refuse to fall into line are considered traitors, accomplices!'”
Proving one of the letter’s points, and being one of the more famous to sign the letter, Deneuve faced an uproar for uttering an unapproved opinion and refusing to go along with the leftist agenda and narrative. She answered the hysteria by issuing a new personal statement which apologized to victims (“It is to them and them alone that I offer my apologies,” she wrote, who were hurt by the original statement, but then reiterated her concern about what the movement was becoming.
Variety reported, “Deneuve said she believed the solution would come from educating ‘our boys as well as our girls.’ She also said the solution would arise ‘eventually from protocols in companies allowing for legal pursuits to be immediately launched in case of harassment. I believe in justice.’ Deneuve, however, insisted on the pertinence of one aspect of last week’s public letter, which criticized the #MeToo anti-harassment movement for leading to a campaign of public denunciation and summary justice fueled by the media. ‘I don’t like this aspect of our times where each feels the right to judge, arbitrate, condemn – a society where simple denunciations on social networks lead to punishment, job losses and often lynching in the media.’”
Despite efforts by a rabid few to destroy her, the French have not allowed it, as Deneuve continues to work as she chooses, and was given a lifetime achievement award in 2022. Also this week, she is the official image and poster for the Cannes Film Festival. This particular action is seen by most as an undeniable statement of support and acceptance of Deneuve, whose persona for over 60 years has been one of personal and creative freedom in a world constantly threatened by women who personify the fight for both.
The success of Rowling and Deneuve, willing to state their opinions and challenge the status quo when it would have been much easier to stay silent, serves as an imperative reminder that bravery is often trusting ourselves and not caving to the bullies intent on frightening us into silence.