In what some may consider a surprising move, beloved author J.K. Rowling has defended Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Or his right to free speech, at least.
The “Harry Potter” author, a critic of Trump herself, said Monday in a speech at the PEN Literary Gala that she supports Trump’s right to be “offensive and bigoted.” Watch below.
Her comment came in response to a U.K. petition seeking to have Trump banned from entering the country, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures," Rowling told the amused crowd.
"Just a moment," Rowling added, smiling. "Now, I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there."
Her comment was met with applause by the audience.
"His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot," she explained. "His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position, without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on the grounds that they have offended you, you have crossed a line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification."
At the gala, Rowling accepted the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award, alongside fellow authors Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison.