Bestselling author who accused the trans lobby of trying to ‘supplant biology’ in her new book says she has been cancelled by the BBC and Waterstones
- Author Helen Joyce published Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality last month
- Bestselling writer says she has since been snubbed by the BBC and other media
- Book said the trans movement is like a ‘new state religion’ with ‘blasphemy laws’
A bestselling author who criticised transgender rights activists has accused ‘cowards’ in the broadcasting and the book industries of trying to ‘cancel’ her.
After the publication last month of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, Helen Joyce claims she has been snubbed by the BBC and other media organisations and suspects some branches of bookseller Waterstones of trying to suppress her sales.
Among the arguments made in her book – which was serialised across two weeks in The Mail on Sunday – are that the trans lobby is trying to ‘supplant biology’ and the movement is the equivalent of a ‘new state religion, complete with blasphemy laws’.
While Ms Joyce expected a backlash, she said she did not anticipate being frozen out by the book industry. Every publisher she approached with the manuscript, with the exception of the small publishing house Oneworld, rejected it.
She says the reluctance to talk spreads further. Approaches by her publicist to the BBC, Sky and ITV were all unsuccessful, with GB News the only TV station to interview her.
After the publication last month of Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, Helen Joyce (pictured) claims she has been snubbed by the BBC and other media organisations and suspects some branches of bookseller Waterstones of trying to suppress her sales
Last night, Ms Joyce – who is a senior journalist at The Economist – said: ‘I think these organisations are responding to enormous pressure from trans activists.
Anyone who gives me any kind of platform at all, even mentioning my book exists, can expect to get a torrent of people saying they are transphobic, that they are bigoted, that they are driving people to suicide, that they are racist, bizarrely.
‘It’s easier to ignore it. If you put your head above the parapet, you get shot at, but if everyone puts their head above the parapet, they can’t fire at all of us.’
She is particularly saddened by the decision of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour not to mention the book. ‘The BBC has an internal war on this topic,’ she claimed.
‘Presenter Jenni Murray was forced out of the show because of this issue. She wrote a newspaper column in 2017 arguing that trans women were not real women. That led to her being barred from covering this issue on the programme.
‘I think the refusal to engage with me is down to a mixture of cowardice and the fact that the new presenter Emma Barnett, I think, disagrees with me. That is fine, of course – she can disagree with me. But why doesn’t she invite me on the show to challenge me?’
The BBC denied there had been a boycott or attempts to ‘cancel’ Ms Joyce. A spokesman said: ‘We know that lots of people want to appear on the BBC and the fact they haven’t doesn’t mean they have been boycotted or won’t appear if there is an appropriate editorial opportunity.
‘Our wide-ranging book coverage often includes interviews with authors, but of course, we can’t feature them all.
We include a broad range of guests with decisions based purely on editorial merit.’ Ms Joyce said she had also been contacted by several people who claimed that some branches of the Waterstones book chain had tried to hide the book.
‘Waterstones gives its local managers a lot of discretion because these managers know what will sell in their area,’ said Ms Joyce.
‘I have been contacted by people on social media who went in to their store and asked for their copy and were told it was out of print, that it was a short print run, that the stock was delayed, even that it was being kept behind the counter out of respect for a trans colleague because it was a hate book.’
But a spokesman for Waterstones said: ‘It is not true that Waterstones is boycotting the book.
It has been one of our bestselling non-fiction hardback books since its publication, stocked by the majority of our shops and online.
Stock was low initially as sales exceeded expectations, but this is no longer the case.
‘As with every book that sells, occasionally a shop will run out of copies and it seems social media comment is picking up on these instances.’
The publishing company Oneworld declined to comment.