“Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill recently responded to the Twitter furor generated by him posting a “like” on a snarky J.K. Rowling tweet, clarifying that he was merely supporting an individual “speaking truth to power.”
He also blasted Twitter for the acerbic reaction he received upon appearing supportive of Rowling, the “Harry Potter” creator vilified by many LGBTQ activists as “transphobic.” Hamill lamented that the platform “is no place for nuance.”
The actor behind Luke Skywalker also reaffirmed his commitment to social justice for all people, regardless of their gender identity.
The online tumult began earlier this week with Rowling posting a snarky response to U.K. journalist and trans woman India Willloughby tweeting how she is “more of a woman than JK Rowling will ever be.”
The post seemed intent on provoking Rowling, who has endured the scorn of trans community defenders for declaring her belief in sex being a biological reality and not a social construct.
Rowling’s statements on the issue, including her complaints that the concept of biological womanhood is threatened by inclusive language, have resulted in calls for fans to boycott her fantasy series.
An unbowed Rowling quote-tweeted Willoughby’s post Tuesday, commenting, “Citation needed” – a snarky reply suggesting Willoughby is lacking the evidence for such a bold claim.
While zealous Twitter users combed through who responded to and/or liked Rowling’s cheeky response, they found that the “Star Wars” actor had “liked” it.
Many disgruntled users started lobbing accusations that Hamill had “liked” a “transphobic” tweet, or that he was supportive of “JKR’s transphobic hate crusade.”
Hamill responded to the allegations on Tuesday, tweeting, “What I ‘liked’ about this exchange was someone speaking their truth to power. Twitter is, unfortunately, no place for nuance.”
He then tried to placate the angry trans community activists, adding, “It’s imperative I make this abundantly clear: I support human rights for EVERYONE, regardless of their gender identity, PERIOD.”
Still, some users were not satisfied with the actor’s clarification.
Progressive activist and former Governor Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., aide Lindsey Boylan claimed it wasn’t good enough. She tweeted, “Am I the only one who thinks this is not a great response? Speaking truth to power is so important. I don’t think that’s what JK Rowling is doing. I think she’s engaging in a toxic dialogue that she herself began. She is not powerless. She is not without resources and contacts.”
Liberal user Dan Arel wrote, “As a fan, I have to ask how this is speaking truth to power? She’s just being transphobic, again. What truth is Rowling speaking?”
Liberal journalist Sonia Poulton added, “A washed up TV presenter tweeting his psychological issues to an author? You call that truth to power? You need to get out more.”
Though some, like original tweeter India Willoughby, accepted his apology. Willoughby wrote, “Lots of love Mark. Agree! Peace!”
Prominent transgender activist Charlotte Clymer absolved the actor, tweeting, “Just catching up. It’s s***** that people got on you for this. Thanks for always supporting trans rights, Mark.”