JK Rowling says Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson can ‘save their apologies’

Author has suggested she won’t 'forgive' actors for questioning her trans views

Jacob Stolworthy
Friday 12 April 2024 05:30 BST
‘I’m here for all the witches,’ says Emma Watson at Baftas in apparent JK Rowling dig

JK Rowling has told Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to “save their apologies” as their relationships continue to sour over their positions on trans rights.

The author, who once had a close relationship with the pair when they starred in the film adaptations of her wizarding world novels, criticised the stars in the wake of a landmark review into gender treatment in the UK.

Rowling, who first faced a backlash from several key cast members when she shared controversial remarks about the trans community in 2020, has seen her relationship with stars deteriorate amid increasingly toxic debate.

Radcliffe, who played lead character Harry Potter, previously wrote an essay for The Trevor Project as a way of showing support for the trans community, and apologised “for the pain” Rowling’s comments have caused the Harry Potter fandom.

Meanwhile, Watson wrote: “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,” and appeared to make a dig at Rowling at the Baftas in 2022.

However, following the release of the Cass report this week, Rowling took aim at Radcliffe and Watson, telling them to “save their apologies” for “traumatised detransitioners”.

‘Harry Potter’ stars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe (Getty Images)

The row reignited when, one X/Twitter commenter, whose account name include the phrase “FarRightHooligan”, wrote to Rowling: “Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology … safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them.”

Rowling responded: “Not safe, I’m afraid. Celebs who cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights and who used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors can save their apologies for traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single sex spaces.”

Her comment comes after it was reported the author could be investigated by police for misgendering trans people under Scotland’s new hate crime law.

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The SNP party’s community safety minister, Siobhian Brown, had previously claimed that misgendering – for example, using the pronoun “he” when talking about a trans woman – would not count as a hate crime, but she has now said it would be a police decision.

However, Rowling, who has frequently argued online that trans women are not women, vowed to continue “calling a man a man” despite what she called the “ludicrous law”, and said she would not delete social media posts that could breach hate crime laws.

JK Rowling suggests she won’t ‘forgive’ stars of ‘Harry Potter for speaking out against her (X/Twitter)

The author has long been a fierce critic of the Scottish Government’s gender reform plans, arguing the proposals infringe on women’s safety.

She has previously stated that she would rather go to jail than refer to a trans person by their preferred pronouns.

Ultimately, police said that Rowling’s comments about new hate crime laws “are not assessed to be criminal” and confirmed no further action would be taken.

JK Rowling photographed with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint at a ‘Harry Potter’ premiere in 2010 (David Fisher/Shutterstock)

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