In recent years, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has become a divisive figure due to her controversial and transphobic comments, so much so that much of the cast of the Harry Potter film franchise, including stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint, have all spoken out denouncing the author. Radcliffe in particular published an open letter making his stance clear and now, Radcliffe is opening up about speaking out, telling IndieWire (via Variety) that it was important and not everyone in the franchise shares her beliefs and fans need to know that.
"The reason I 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," Radcliffe said. "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. And that was really important."
He added, "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."
Rowling received backlash in June 2020 after she posted comments on Twitter claiming that the idea of gender identity "erased" the idea of women and biological sex. The comments were not the first time the author has come under fire for anti-trans sentiments, either, having previously received backlash for her support of Maya Forstater, a researcher who was let go from her job after saying that people cannot change their biological sex. Following the tweets, Radcliffe published an op-ed on The Trevor Project's website in response.
"I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what's important right now," Radcliffe's op-ed begins. "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."
"Transgender women are women," Radcliffe continued. "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. According to The Trevor Project, 78% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm."
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