Four authors have left the U.K. literary agency that represents J.K. Rowling over transgender rights and equality.
The writers say that The Blair Partnership - which was founded in 2011 "with a vision to create a more progressive type of agency" - has failed them in not standing up against recent comments made by the Harry Potter creator, which targeted transgender people.
On Monday, Fox Fisher, Drew Davies and Ugla Stefania Kristjonudottir Jonsdottir - all of whom identify as LGBTQ - released a joint statement announcing their resignation.
According to The Guardian, a fourth author, who decided to remain anonymous, is "understood to have also quit the agency."
"This decision is not made lightly, and we are saddened and disappointed it has come to this," the statement, which was published on Medium, read.
"After J. K. Rowling's - who is also signed to the agency - public comments on transgender issues, we reached out to the agency with an invitation to reaffirm their stance to transgender rights and equality."
Their concern was not addressed by the agency, according to the statement, which begins with two hashtags, #Writers4TransRights and #Allies4TransRights.
"After our talks with them, we felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful. Freedom of speech can only be upheld if the structural inequalities that hinder equal opportunities for underrepresented groups are challenged and changed."
Rowling has a long history of controversial comments seen as transphobic. In December, she received widespread backlash for expressing support to an anti-transgender researcher who was fired for tweeting that "men cannot change into women."
Earlier this month, actor Daniel Radcliffe, who played the wizard Harry Potter in the movies based on Rowling's hit book series, was one of many celebrities to publicly denounce the author for a series of anti-transgender tweets posted on June 6.
In their statement, the authors say that they "stand in solidarity with LGBTQIA - and allied - staff in all areas of publishing who are working incredibly hard to champion diverse voices and experiences to challenge the homogeneity of the industry," highlighting the importance of industry executives to give underrepresented groups a more powerful platform.
"We would like to particularly extend our solidarity to the trans community at this time, many who might feel vulnerable, alienated and unsupported right now. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid," they added.
The London-based agency expressed disappointment about the writers' decisions.
"We believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view. We respect their right to pursue what they feel is the correct course of action," a spokesperson told the publishing industry magazine The Bookseller.
The authors' profiles are not longer on the agency's website - whose tagline reads, "Progressive is our watchword."
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com