Ralph Fiennes says he ‘doesn’t understand the vitriol directed at JK Rowling’

Harry Potter author has faced a backlash over comments about transgender people

Adam White
Thursday 18 March 2021 07:36
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JK Rowling in lengthy explanation over transgender comments

Ralph Fiennes has defended the Harry Potter creator JK Rowling, saying he “doesn’t understand the vitriol directed at her”.

Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort in the film adaptations of the Potter books, had been asked about the controversy that has swirled around Rowling’s comments on transgender people.

“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” the actor told The Telegraph. “I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”

Last year, Rowling came under fire for a series of tweets about menstruation that were widely described as “anti-trans”, which she then followed with a lengthy blog post.

The essay was criticised by LGBTQ+ advocacy groups and others for containing inaccuracies and perpetuating harmful beliefs about transgender people.

Fiennes’s defence of Rowling was in contrast to the three main stars of the Harry Potter films, all of whom have spoken out against the author’s comments.

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Emma Watson, who portrayed Hermione Granger, tweeted last year that “trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe wrote: “It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”

Ralph Fiennes and Harry Potter creator JK Rowling

Ron Weasley actor Rupert Grint added: “I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men.”

Rowling has repeatedly denied being transphobic.

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