Harry Potter star Emma Watson has now become the latest figure to make her feelings known regarding the ongoing controversy provoked by the book series author J.K. Rowling's recent comments concerning transgender issues. The Harry Potter writer and creator has found herself facing backlash over the last week due to several social media posts that she made over the weekend which have been deemed transphobic and TERF-y (trans-exclusionary radical feminist).
Emma Watson, who played the gifted witch Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter movie adaptation, took to social media in order to make her feelings on the issue clear.
"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. 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."
Watson then highlighted several charities she has donated to, and how fans can do the same, "I donate to @Mermaids_Gender and @mamacash [two related charities]. If you can, perhaps you'll feel inclined to do the same," she said, adding "Happy #PRIDE2020. Sending love x."
Emma Watson joins several other members of the Harry Potter franchise, including Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, in speaking out in support of the LGBTQIA+ community and criticizing Rowling's stand on the issue.
This is not the first time that J.K. Rowling has faced backlash due to her comments on this matter, with the writer having drawn criticisms in the past for supporting Maya Forstater, a researcher who stated that people cannot change their biological sex. This controversy has been stirred up again because of comments Rowling made via social media at the weekend with Rowling writing that, "If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. 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".
Since then, Rowling has published a 3,600-word essay on her website, with the author seeking to clarify her opinions. In the essay, Rowling also reveals that she is a survivor of sexual assault.
"The scars left by violence and sexual assault don't disappear, no matter how loved you are, and no matter how much money you've made... I have a visceral sense of the terror in which those trans women will have spent their last seconds on earth, because I too have known moments of blind fear when I realized that the only thing keeping me alive was the shaky self-restraint of my attacker."
Despite Rowling's attempt at clarifying her feelings through the form of an essay, as well as her writing it "without any desire to add to that toxicity," her words have been met with widespread criticism from trans activists and the LGBTQIA+ community. Emma Watson's statement was made on her official Twitter account.