Daniel Radcliffe explains why he wrote open letter in response to JK Rowling trans row

Radcliffe was one of several Harry Potter stars to speak out in support of the trans community, following controversial remarks by Rowling

Peony Hirwani
Wednesday 02 November 2022 06:17 GMT
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Daniel Radcliffe has explained why he wrote his 2020 open letter against JK Rowling’s controversial remarks about the trans community.

In June 2020, the Harry Potter author retweeted an op-ed piece that discussed “people who menstruate,” apparently taking issue with the fact that the story did not use the word “women.”

“‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” she wrote.

Rowling continued speaking about the topic in a couple of follow-up tweets where she spoke about sex and how the “lived reality of women globally is erased”.

The author was immediately criticised by a number of trans people, activists, fellow members of the LBGTQ+ community, and by her fellow celebrities, including Radcliffe. She has denied accusations that she is transphobic.

Radcliffe, who starred as the title character in the hit film adaptation of Rowling’s books, wrote an essay for The Trevor Project as a way of showing support for the trans community.

The 33-year-old actor also apologised “for the pain” Rowling’s comments have caused his fan base.

(Getty Images)

In an interview with IndieWire published on Tuesday 1 November, Radcliffe has now opened up about why he decided to speak out publicly.

“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing [the Potter franchise], 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.

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

Several other Harry Potter stars have also spoken against Rowling over the past two years.

Most recently, Tom Felton, who played antagonist Draco Malfoy in the film series, told The Independent that he’s “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”.

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