The world of Harry Potter has been a significant topic of conversation in recent days, after franchise author J.K. Rowling made her latest and most overt transphobic remarks yet. After initially making her comments through a series of tweets on social media, Rowling was met with backlash from fans, as well as several of the franchise's former film stars. Rowling then doubled down on her sentiment with a lengthy blog post, which only drew more criticism online. The latest to address the ordeal is Emma Watson, who portrayed Hermione Granger across all eight films in the Potter franchise. In a series of tweets, Watson argued that "trans people are who they say they are, and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren't who they say they are". She also revealed that she's made donations to Mermaids UK and Mama Cash, two organizations that advocate for trans rights.
I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
Happy #PRIDE2020 Sending love x— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
In addition to being an actress, Watson also serves as a significant activist, including as the UN Women Goodwill ambassador. Some fans have used Watson's previous support of trans rights - including a photo of herself wearing a "Trans Rights are Human Rights" t-shirt - as a rebuttal of Rowling's transphobia in recent days.
Rowling's comments also resulted in comments from Watson's co-star Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter across all eight movies. Earlier this week, Radcliffe penned an op-ed for The Trevor Project, advocating for trans youth and apologizing to those whose relationship to the franchise has changed because of Rowling's comments.
"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. I really hope that you don't entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you," Radcliffe's op-ed reads in part. "If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; 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. 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."
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