A New York literary agency assistant has been fired following remarks she retweeted on her personal Twitter account about transgender people and domestic violence.
Sasha White revealed that she had been ‘fired’ by The Tobias Literary Agency, which has offices in New York, Boston and Nashville, after she retweeted a comment on social media that read: ‘TW [trans women] being vulnerable to male violence does not make you women.’
Following a huge wave of criticism against White’s comments, the agency said it had ‘parted ways with Sasha’ in a now-removed tweet on its account.
However White – who showed public support for Harry Potter author JK Rowling in the wake of a bitter controversy over comments she made about transgender women – confirmed her dismissal yesterday, tweeting: ‘It’s true: I was fired last night for my feminist stance.
‘The twitter mob came for me and my employer and my employer immediately terminated me. If you’ve been through something similar please reach out…’
This morning, the hashtag #Istandwithsashawhite was trending on Twitter, with supportive users creating it in reference to the #istandwithJKRowling tag, which White herself features on her account in a show of support for the famed author.
White has two Twitter accounts, one, @SashaSemyonovna, where she once referenced the work she does for her former employer, and another account, @iamGrushenka, which was previously anonymous.
The bio on the latter reads: ‘gender non conformity is wonderful; denying biological sex not so’.
The self-styled ‘radical feminist’ has been accused of being a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF) on Twitter; her bio also includes the hashtag: ‘#istandwithJKRowling’.
The Harry Potter author has faced heavy criticism over her outspoken views. In June, Rowling made a jibe at an article titled ‘Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate’.
She tweeted in response: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
White’s dismissal from the Tobias Literary Agency was confirmed both by the company’s President, Lane Heymont, and on the agency’s Twitter account, which has since been made private.
The now removed tweet said: ‘We do not have any room for anti-Trans sentiments at TLA. Period. Thus we have parted ways with Sasha.’
The company said it had also made a donation to a black trans charity following the decision.
After vowing to step away from Twitter following the backlash, White posted this morning thanking people for their support after the #istandwithsashawhite hashtag trended.
She wrote: ‘This morning I felt so completely alone. This outpouring of support is so amazing…so moving. Thank you all!!! #IStandWithJKRowling #IStandWithMaya’
Supporters included Twitter user @terfalicious, who commented: ‘Hi @TheTobiasAgency, is it standard practice for you to fire women like Sasha for being non-hateful feminists? For simply standing up for women and girls? Why is your agency so blatantly sexist?#IStandWithSashaWhite #BoycottTheTobiasAgency.’
Another, @Ffuzzyface, added: ‘#CancelCulture exists & the evidence of its misogyny is clear to see. #IStandWithSashaWhite’
Author Rowling, 54, first clashed with gender activists after appearing to ‘like’ a post on Twitter saying that trans women are ‘men in dresses’, which she said was an accident. However, in 2019, she faced backlash after defending a female researcher who was fired for claiming that ‘men cannot change into women’.
Following Rowling’s most recent comments, Harry Potter film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint issued statements in support of transgender people, pointedly not backing Miss Rowling.
In response to her remarks, Radcliffe wrote a heartfelt blog post for The Trevor Project, a non-profit devoted to suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth.
He said: ‘Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.’
Four authors resigned from Rowling’s literary agency after claiming the company refused to publish a statement in support of transgender rights while a charity which supports transgender children has urged Rowling to meet some of the young people it works with.