Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has released a written apology in response to the recent transphobic comments from the famous franchise’s author, J.K Rowling. Radcliffe, who played the titular character in the eight Harry Potter films, has made his statement available on The Trevor Project website.
Rowling has received a lot of criticism for her comments made on Twitter, and this isn’t for the first time. In December of 2019, the author tweeted in support of a researcher, Maya Forstater, who had been fired from her job for transphobic tweets. Many people have labelled Rowling as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist (TERF), which means you simply do not accept trans women as women. There was also another conversation to be had more recently, as many fans of the books vocalised their opinion on the character Cho Chang, who some believe to be a racist portrayal by nature.
This recent comment has prompted Radcliffe to issue a statement to Harry Potter fans. Rowling has again strongly implied that she believes transgender women are not women and if one recognises a trans women as such, they are erasing the experience of being a woman. Radcliffe responded by saying the following:
“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 (J.K. Rowling) or I.”
Radcliffe went on to offer access to resources so readers can educate themselves about transgender and non-binary identities. Finally he finished off with a message directly to the fans of Harry Potter as he concluded:
“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. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, non-binary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
As Rowling has never apologised for her past comments and most likely won’t for these either, many will welcome the statement by Radcliffe and appreciate that while Rowling is the author, as Radcliffe alluded to in his comments, your connection to the books or films is between you and the art. Nobody can touch that. However, Rowling’s comments are still very wrong and she should naturally be held accountable. Although, many will be thankful for the stance taken by Radcliffe, not just for Harry Potter fans, but for the transgender community themselves.
Have you read Daniel Radcliffe’s full statement? Do you think more members of the cast, or Warner Bros. should likewise release a message? Let us know in the comment section of our website and don’t forget to download the Kernel App to track any new releases you may be excited for. You can follow us on our Twitter and Instagram to keep up with all movie news!