Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe has opened up about why he needed to speak out against J.K. Rowling’s virulent transphobia.
In recent years, the author has become as known for her anti-trans views as she is for writing the series of children’s books that inspired the film franchise that launched Radcliffe to fame. But several of the actors from the Harry Potter films have made it clear to fans that Rowling does not speak for them.
In June 2020, Radcliffe wrote an open letter for The Trevor Project in which he condemned Rowling’s transphobic tweets – particularly targeting transgender women – and stated categorically that “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 at the time.
In a recent interview with Indiewire, the actor explained why it was so important to him to speak out.
“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing Potter, 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.”
“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 continued. “But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”
Rowling has only doubled and tripled down on her anti-trans views over the years, frequently accusing anyone who criticizes her of not defending her against what she has described as violent online harassment. Her most recent book was about a celebrity facing online harassment, and she recently gave an indication of what might be going on in her head when she implied in a tweet that she’s more interested in her royalty checks than in alienating fans who oppose her public attacks on trans people.