Daniel Radcliffe says rupture with JK Rowling over trans rights is ‘really sad’

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Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has described his rupture with JK Rowling over trans rights as “really sad”, and that despite her role in his life as the creator of Potter “[it] doesn’t mean that you owe the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life”.

Radcliffe’s comments came in an interview in the Atlantic, and marks the first published remarks by one of the principal cast in the Potter series since the publication of the Cass review of gender identity services, and Rowling’s subsequent suggestion on social media that he and co-star Emma Watson were “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”.

Radcliffe and Watson’s dispute with Rowling dates back to the latter’s intervention in the growing controversy between trans-rights activists and gender-critical feminists in 2020. Radcliffe subsequently issued a statement through LGBTQ+ suicide-prevention group the Trevor Project, saying: “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 or I.”

Radcliffe told the Atlantic: “I’d worked with the Trevor Project for 12 years and it would have seemed like, I don’t know, immense cowardice to me to not say something. I wanted to try and help people that had been negatively affected by the comments. And to say that if those are Jo’s views, then they are not the views of everybody associated with the Potter franchise.”

He added: “I did have a realisation of a connection to Harry Potter and this stuff. A lot of people found some solace in those books and films who were dealing with feeling closeted or rejected by their family or living with a secret.”

Radcliffe also said he has had no direct contact with Rowling since the controversy erupted. “It makes me really sad, ultimately, because I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic.”

In 2020, Radcliffe had been joined in opposing Rowling’s position by Potter co-stars Watson and Rupert Grint, as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them star Eddie Redmayne. Of the British media’s response to their statements, Radcliffe said: “There’s a version of ‘Are these three kids ungrateful brats?’ that people have always wanted to write, and they were finally able to. So, good for them, I guess … Obviously Harry Potter would not have happened without [Rowling], so nothing in my life would have probably happened the way it is without that person. But that doesn’t mean that you owe the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life.”

He added: “I will continue to support the rights of all LGBTQ people, and have no further comment than that.”

Source: theguardian.com

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