‘It makes me really sad’: Daniel Radcliffe says it would’ve been cowardly to be silent after JK Rowling’s transgender remarks

News & Politics

Actor Daniel Radcliffe said it would have seemed like he was being cowardly if he didn’t make a statement after author J.K. Rowling’s criticisms of the transgender movement in 2020.

That year, Rowling spoke out and said, “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased,” adding that erasing the concept of sex “removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

Radcliffe responded in a written piece for the Trevor Project, an organization that provides “crisis intervention and suicide prevention services” to LGBTQ youth.

“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 wrote, referring to Rowling by a short form of her first name, Joanne.

In an interview with the Atlantic, Radcliffe explained that anything less than that response would have been cowardly.

“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,” he continued. “And to say that if those are Jo’s views, then they are not the views of everybody associated with the Potter franchise,” the actor said.

Radcliffe admitted in the interview that he has had no direct contact with Rowling in the past few years but has had indirect responses.

“It makes me really sad, ultimately,” he told the outlet. “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,” he explained.

The “Harry Potter” star also remarked on the group of then-child actors being lumped together for their echoed sentiments toward transgenderism.

Actress Emma Watson said in 2020 that “trans people are who they say they are” while co-star Rupert Grint also said at the time that “trans women are women. Trans men are men.”

Radcliffe said that in the British press particularly, “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 declared.

In a lengthy thread on X, Rowling stated in April 2024 that “committed ideologues” had doubled down on their transgender rhetoric, despite information released in a study that ultimately led to the U.K.’s health system halting hormone blockers for children.

“These are people who’ve deemed opponents ‘far-right’ for wanting to know there are proper checks and balances in place before autistic, gay and abused kids – groups that are all overrepresented at gender clinics – are left sterilised, inorgasmic, lifelong patients,” she added.

In response, a fan said that he was waiting for “Harry Potter” film stars Radcliffe and Watson to issue an apology to Rowling, adding that he felt “safe in the knowledge” that Rowling would forgive them.

Rowling denied that sentiment.

“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.”

In response to that exchange, Radcliffe told the Atlantic that he would “continue to support the rights of all LGBTQ people” and that he has “no further comment than that.”

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