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The Biggest Literary Scandals of 2017

From J. K. Rowling’s Johnny Depp statement to Emma Cline’s plagiarism lawsuit, 2017 was a big year for literary drama, and we brought you all the latest. Let’s jump right in. 


The Girls Author Emma Cline vs. Her Ex-Boyfriend 


The Girls Author Emma Cline Faces Accusations of Plagiarism


Emma Cline, who wrote one of 2016’s breakout novels, The Girls, loosely based on the Manson murders, which sparked an unprecedented bidding war and resulted in a million dollar book deal, has been accused of plagiarism by her ex-boyfriend. Cline denies the allegations. 


J. K. Rowling vs. Angry Fans


J. K. Rowling Blocks Fan on Twitter and We Hate to Say It, but That’s Lame” then “J. K. Rowling Breaks Her Silence on Johnny Depp ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Casting” followed by “Debate Heats up Surrounding J. K. Rowling’s Controversial Johnny Depp Statement


J. K. Rowling defended the decision to allow Johnny Depp to reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, amid widespread criticism of the decision. Rowling was complimentary of Depp, whose ex-wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic violence, providing photographic and video evidence in a statement on her website. It received a very mixed reaction from fans, some of whom praised her while others vowed to boycott the film and the Harry Potter-verse in general. 


Stephen King vs. Clowns


Real-Life Clowns Are Done Clowning Around With Stephen King’s ‘IT’‘”


So everyone loved this year’s adaptation of Stephen Kings IT. Everyone, that is, except for real-life, pacifistic clowns. 


In response to the film’s release, the World Clown Association released a press kit titled “WCA STAND ON SCARY CLOWNS !!” The guide is essentially a manifesto for why clowns should beware of Pennywise. The guide says:


Even the character in the movie IT should be understood to be a fantasy character – not a true clown. Just as a Haunted House event may have a “doctor” wearing surgical gear, carrying a bloody chainsaw, people need to understand that this character is NOT a real doctor. He is a person portraying an evil character in order to scare people. In the same way, people dressed as horror clowns are not “real clowns.”


Writers vs. Twitter


Famous Writers Are Calling Out Twitter and We’re Grabbing Popcorn for the Show


Twitter increased the character limit to 280, and writers including J. K. Rowling and Neil Gaiman were not happy about it. In the words of Stephen King: “280 characters? Fuck that.” 


Via Giphy

Via Giphy


J. K. Rowling vs. Piers Morgan


UK Bookstore Trolls Piers Morgan With Potter Tweets


Rowling tweeted that “watching Piers Morgan being told to fuck off on live TV is exactly as satisfying as I’d always imagined.” Morgan shot back at Rowling by saying he’s never read “a single line of Harry Potter.” Big Green Bookshop, a small independent bookstore based out of North London embarked on 32,567-tweet long thread in which they tweeted every line of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at Morgan. Amazing. 


Via WiffleGif

Via WiffleGif


These scandals may be relatively low stakes, but that’s because writers are generally the best sorts of people. As you know.


Featured Image Via Huffington Post