J.K. Rowling: Daniel Radcliffe–‘Not Everybody in the Franchise’ Shares Her Beliefs’

Daniel Radcliffe Against J.K. Rowling: ‘Not Everybody in the Franchise’ Shares Her Beliefs

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At the height of backlash against J.K. Rowling over her views on the transgender community, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe published an open letter in which he proclaimed, “Transgender women are women.”

In a new interview with IndieWire, Radcliffe opened up about why he decided to speak out publicly against the author who essentially gave him his acting career.

“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.”

“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,” Radcliffe added. “But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”

Backlash against Rowling erupted in June 2020 when she posted a series of comments to Twitter in which she argued that discussing gender identity negates biological sex. “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” the author wrote. “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.” Rowling continued to double down on her position in the years that followed.

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote in his open letter. “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.”

Radcliffe added, “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the [‘Harry Potter’] 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.”

Several other “Harry Potter” actors spoke out against Rowling’s beliefs following Radcliffe’s letter. Most recently, Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the film series, distanced the franchise from Rowling.

“I’m pro-choice, pro-discussion, pro-human rights across the board and pro-love. And anything that is not those things, I don’t really have much time for,” Felton told The Independent last month. “It is also a reminder that as much as Jo is the founder of [these] stories, she wasn’t part of the filmmaking process as much as some people might think. I think I only recall seeing her once or twice on set.”