Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts writer and creator J.K. Rowling has found herself facing backlash over the last week due to several social media posts she made over the weekend which were deemed transphobic and TERF-y (trans-exclusionary radical feminist). Now, two of the headline stars of both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, have spoken out against Rowling's comments.
Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as title character Harry Potter in the Harry Potter series, was first to announce his disagreement with Rowling's statements. Putting out a statement via The Trevor Project, a national organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25, Radcliffe was quick to dismiss the Harry Potter author's comments as incorrect.
"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. 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."
Radcliffe also made mention of the popular wizard-world book series, expressing his hope that the J.K. Rowling comments had not diminished the messages within the Harry Potter story.
"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. 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."
Following on from Daniel Radcliffe, Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne has also spoken out against Rowling, stating that he wanted to make it "absolutely clear" where he stands on the issue.
"Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process. As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid. I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."
Despite their relationship with the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts creator, both actors have now made their feelings very clear, which is sure to mean a lot to the LGBTQIA+ community. Since making the initial posts, Rowling has released an extensive essay defending her right to speak out about transgender issues.