Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, apologises to fans of the series for J.K. Rowling’s transphobic remarks, saying, “Transgender women are women”.
Radcliffe was cast in the franchise’s first film, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’, at the age of ten, with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who would play Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, respectively. The trio was at the centre of the ‘Harry Potter’ films, which transformed J.K. Rowling’s seven-book series into an eight-film narrative that was hugely popular, helping to cement the franchise as a box office powerhouse. Rowling has gone on to work with Warner Bros. on the ‘Harry Potter’ prequel film series, which began with ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ in 2016. She wrote the scripts for both the 2016 film and its sequel, ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’, and is currently working on ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’, which is yet untitled. On the other hand, Rowling has recently been under fire for transphobic remarks on Twitter, which has prompted Radcliffe to deliver a response to Harry Potter fans.
- Radcliffe issues a statement against J.K. Rowling
- Radcliffe’s statement seems to be justifying
Radcliffe issues a statement against J.K. Rowling
Radcliffe issued a statement on The Trevor Project website in response to Rowling’s recent transphobic tweets, in which the author claimed that transgender women are not women and that recognising trans women is to invalidate women’s experiences. In his statement, Radcliffe said, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people”.
Following that, the actor provided links to sites that would help readers learn more about transgender and nonbinary people. He concluded by personally addressing Harry Potter fans, particularly those who had been offended by Rowling’s comments. He also expressed his heartfelt regret for the anguish these comments had caused Rowling.
Radcliffe’s statement seems to be justifying
It isn’t the first time Rowling has been chastised for transphobic tweets. The author posted in December 2019 in favour of a researcher who got sacked for transphobic remarks. (The researcher, Maya Forstater, attempted to sue for wrongful termination in the United Kingdom, but the judge dismissed her case). According to her personal convictions, Rowling is a TERF, which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a term for feminists who do not believe trans women are women.
Harry Potter fans have battled to reconcile Rowling’s transphobic stance with their love of the brand since her tweets late last year, especially in light of her most recent comments. Others have claimed that Rowling’s books are not quite as progressive as some fans believe. Cho Chang, for example, became a Twitter trend after Rowling’s latest comments, with some pointing out the character’s racist nature.
Given that Rowling has not apologised for her previous words or her most recent tweets, Radcliffe’s willingness to apologise to fans for her harsh remarks is reassuring. Radcliffe’s comment does not make up for Rowling’s transphobia. It is a long way from Warner Bros. publishing a statement or taking steps to prevent Rowling from further harming fans and the Harry Potter franchise’s image. Even at the worst of times, Radcliffe’s firm stand against Rowling’s transphobia brings some joy to ‘Harry Potter’ fans by shining a light on transgender rights.
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