Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe is reaffirming his decision to defend transgender people following J.K. Rowling’s controversial tweet rampage.
The fantasy writer first stirred backlash in 2020 when she shared a series of transphobic comments on Twitter. Since then, Rowling has continued to use her platform to spread anti-trans misinformation, causing many fans to dissociate from the author or the franchise entirely.
Following Rowling’s actions, actor Daniel Radcliffe apologized for the “pain these comments have caused you” and declared “transgender women are women.”
“I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now,” Radcliffe wrote in his published on The Trevor Project.
“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… It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
Two years after the statement, Radcliffe is opening up about his decision to speak out.
“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 told IndieWire.
“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.”
In Radcliffe’s original post, he encouraged fans of the Harry Potter universe to hold on to the magic they received from the series despite the author’s hurtful speech.
“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 costars also joined the conversation back in 2020, with many issuing their own statements defending transgender people. This includes Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander).
“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,” Watson wrote on Twitter. “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.”