An 'I love JK Rowling' billboard has been covered up in Vancouver following protests over the Harry Potter author's uncompromising stance on transgenderism.
The billboard was erected in the Canadian city on Friday, but less than 24 hours later, a workman was seen pasting over it with black sheets.
The billboard was the paid for by local businessman Chris Elston, who called Rowling "an inspiration".
I ❤️ JK Rowling, so I got this swanky billboard in Vancouver.— chris elston ???????? (@christophelston) September 12, 2020
JK, thank you for standing up for women and children. You are an inspiration. pic.twitter.com/wARU4zGoxQ
After it was pulled, he tweeted: "I still love JK Rowling."
City councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung was one of those criticising the billboard.
She said it was "hateful" and asked Pattison Outdoor Advertising to remove it on Saturday morning.
"It's hateful. The billboard was clearly intended by having a message that said I love J.K. Rowling to target the trans community, be an anti-trans message without getting into the statutory definition in the realm of hate speech," she tells NEWS 1130.
"The clear intent here is to incite hate against the trans community to incite division. It's clearly designed to cause harm and distress and that's not something that we want to see in the city of Vancouver.
"We have had some really challenging incidents with homophobic preaching in the West End, people are really stressed right now in terms of the pandemic and a lot of other things that are happening and experiencing a lot of challenges and the last thing that we need is to divide people and push them apart instead of trying to get everybody through these tough times."
An 'I love JK Rowling' poster suffered a similar fate in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, where it was removed from the city's main train station following a backlash.
Rowling has become one of the leading voices in the campaign to protect single-sex spaces and free speech. Despite some people boycotting her books, she has refused to back down over her views.
Last month, she returned a human rights award to the foundation of the late Robert F Kennedy after his daughter criticised her stance.
In July, Rowling said she believed that gender transition treatment was a "medical scandal".
Earlier this year, she wrote a lengthy personal essay explaining her views on sex and gender identity, in which she said: "So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.
"When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he's a woman – and, as I've said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside.
"That is the simple truth."