The row following JK Rowling’s intervention into the debate surrounding trans rights continues to rumble on.
After causing controversy last week with tweets which were perceived to be transphobic, Rowling wrote a long essay on her website to expand on some of her thoughts surrounding trans rights and what she perceives as a threat to single-sex spaces.
Rowling’s essay has been condemned by LGBTQ+ activists and organisations. GLAAD responded by claiming out that it was filled with inaccuracies, saying:
It seems JK is good at only one thing: writing fantasy. Her misinformed and dangerous missive about transgender people flies in the face of medical and psychological experts and devalues trans people accounts of their own lives.
But they aren’t the only ones who are voicing concern.
Since Rowling posted her string of tweets, actors from the Harry Potter franchise have spoken out for the first time against her views on this topic. Several have either addressed Rowling directly, or made their support for trans rights clear at this moment without mentioning her by name.
So here’s a rundown of what people are saying so far…
Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
Watson, who played Hermione in the Harry Potter films, has been a staunch supporter of trans rights for years. She even spoke of her support recently in an interview for British Vogue with trans columnist Paris Lees. Watson didn’t mention Rowling by name, but in a string of tweets she made clear that “trans people are who they say they are”.
Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told… https://t.co/sVKbOyvUzv
Following Rowling’s tweets, but before she published her longer essay, Radcliffe made clear that he doesn’t agree with her words on this topic. He affirmed in an open letter published by LGBTQ+ organisation The Trevor Project that “trans women are women”.
Daniel Radcliffe said trans rights https://t.co/tdj94l5WOa
Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, also said that he disagrees with Rowling’s comments, saying “trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid”.
First Harry, now Newt.
Eddy Redmayne: “I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s co… https://t.co/8NMpZdeIxb
Lynch posted a lengthy statement on Twitter where she said she wishes Rowling would stop discussing this topic. She also shared her worries about the Harry Potter fandom becoming less inclusive as a result of her comments, but pledged to counteract it, saying:
The Harry Potter fandom is literally made up of millions of people now and I for one will always work to make it feel inclusive because trans women are women.
Bonny Wright (Ginny Weasley)
Wright also defended the inclusiveness of Harry Potter and, like her co-stars, affirmed her belief that trans women are women.
If Harry Potter was a source of love and belonging for you, that love is infinite and there to take without judgmen… https://t.co/R9KHbdDQHj
The actress who plays Cho Chang (a character that many Asian people think has a racist name) made a light-hearted intervention on Twitter. Leung teased that she was finally about to break her silence on the character's culturally insensitive name, but really just linked to a bunch of organisations which support trans women and need financial assistance.
So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes...(thread)