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Daniel Radcliffe explains why it was important to speak out against JK Rowling's anti-trans comments

Rachel Lang

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Daniel Radcliffe explains why it was important to speak out against JK Rowling's anti-trans comments

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has revealed why he chose to publish an open letter about transgender rights while public backlash against JK Rowling was at its peak.

The now 33-year-old actor published his words on The Trevor Project website, a nonprofit organisation that focuses on suicide prevention efforts in the LGBTQ community, back in 2020.

But now, Radcliffe has explained why he felt it was so important to speak out against Rowling's comments that denied trans women are women.

"The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing [Harry Potter]," Radcliffe said, according to Variety.

Radcliffe in Harry Potter. Credit:  Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo
Radcliffe in Harry Potter. Credit: Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

"I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that and so seeing them hurt on that day, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way."

He added: "And that was really important.”

The boy who grew up on the set of the Harry Potter film franchise revealed that, after working for the Trevor Project for more than a decade, he didn't 'think [he] would’ve been able to look [himself] in the mirror' if he had not said anything.

Backlash against the best selling author exploded in June 2020 after she posted a series of tweets where she argued that gender identity negates biological sex and contributes to the erasure of the female experience.

"If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased," she said.

Rowling added: "I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives."

She has doubled down on her comments many times since the initial backlash.

Radcliffe ripped into the tweets in his open letter.

"Transgender women are women," the actor said.

"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."

Rupert Grint, from left, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe star in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy
Rupert Grint, from left, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe star in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Credit: Abaca Press / Alamy

His letter continued: " 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."

He added: "I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”

Several other Harry Potter stars have hit out against Rowling's comments since she shared them online including Rupert Grint who played Ron Weasley, Emma Watson who played Hermione Granger, and Tom Felton who played Draco Malfoy.

Rupert told The Times: "Social media can start conversations but if you put your opinions out there, you can get bombarded.

"I do think it’s still important to stand up for what you believe in, and for people and communities that need our support and love.

"I wanted to get some kindness out there."

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. PA Images / Alamy.

Topics: JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Celebrity, TV and Film, LGBTQ

Rachel Lang
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