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Warner Bros. Discovery condemns threats against J.K. Rowling after tweet of support for Salman Rushdie

Rowling shared a screenshot Saturday of a Twitter user telling her, “Don’t worry you are next,” after she tweeted about Rushdie’s being stabbed in the neck.
J.K Rowling attends the U.K. Premiere of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald" on Nov. 13, 2018, in London.
J.K Rowling attends the U.K. Premiere of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald" on Nov. 13, 2018, in London.Samir Hussein / WireImage file
/ Source: NBC News

Warner Bros. Discovery condemned an apparent threat against “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling in a statement Sunday, saying it supports “freedom of expression.”

Rowling shared a screenshot Saturday of a reply to her tweet wishing fellow author Salman Rushdie well after a man stabbed him in the neck at a New York lecture hall Friday. She wrote that she felt “sick” over Rushdie’s being attacked and that she hoped he would recover.

A user responded, “Don’t worry you are next.”

Rowling said her report of the tweet determined that “no violations” were found, and she shared a screenshot of the message from Twitter. Others shared that they had reported the tweet and that Twitter had substantiated that its community guidelines were violated.

Warner Bros. Discovery, which has the rights to Rowling’s “Harry Potter” franchise, said it stands with her and all authors’ rights to express themselves.

“WBD believes in freedom of expression, peaceful discourse and supporting those who offer their views in the public arena,” the company said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Salman Rushdie and his family following the senseless act of violence in New York.”

It does not appear that the user's tweet is still online, and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.

Rushdie’s agent said Sunday that he was off a ventilator and on the “road to recovery” after he was stabbed in the neck Friday morning at the Chautauqua Institution. He has been the subject of threats for decades, after his controversial novel “The Satanic Verses” drew the ire of some Muslims and was banned in Iran.

Police identified the stabbing suspect as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. A preliminary review of his social media accounts shows he had sympathies for Shia extremism and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation said.

It is unclear what motivated the Twitter user’s apparent threat against Rowling, who has been criticized heavily in recent years for her views about transgender women, with many people calling her a “TERF,” or a trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Some have also criticized some of her famed “Harry Potter” characters as problematic, including goblin bankers who embody antisemitic stereotypes.

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