Harry Potter series creator J.K. Rowling has been thrown under the bus by the actor who brought her creation to life Daniel Radcliffe, who’s recently claimed “not everybody in the franchise” shares the author’s opinions on transgender politics.
Touching upon his 2020 op-ed for LGBT suicide prevention group The Trevor Project during a recent interview with Indie Wire, Radcliffe explained to the outlet, “The reason I was felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing ‘Potter,’ I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that.”
“And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way,” he claimed. “And that was really important.”
Radcliffe further elaborated, “It was really important as I’ve worked with the Trevor Project for more than 10 years, and so I don’t think I would’ve been able to look myself in the mirror had I not said anything. But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”
In Radcliffe’s 2020 op-ed, the actor — who played the series’ titular wizard in all of the eight live-action adaptations of the popular book series — responded to Rowling’s then-recent tweets criticizing the rising deference of authorities to transgender activists.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” said the author. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense,” she then decried.
In more than reasonable fashion, Rowling would proceed to explain that she respects transgenders as people and argue that she wasn’t denying them any rights by expressing her own support for women’s rights.
“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them,” she declared. “I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment,” the actor opened his op-ed.
“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe then firmly asserted. “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.”
“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” the actor would go on to lament.
“If you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred,” Radcliffe concluded. “And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
Meanwhile, in a particularly poetic inversion, Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes – who played series’ main villain Lord Voldemort – has openly expressed support for Rowling’s opinions.
“The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling,” Fiennes declared in an October interview with The New York Times. “I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist.”
“It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman,’” he argued. “And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”
This was not the first time the actor had voiced such support for Rowling.
In March 2021, Fiennes condemned the way in which Rowling has been treated simply for expressing her opinion on women’s rights and transgender ideology, labelling said attacks as both “irrational” and “disturbing.”
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her. I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational,” The actor told The Telegraph. “I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”