Once praised for creating a unique world of magic and hope in Harry Potter, now it seems that any time the name of J.K. Rowling is mentioned, it comes accompanied by controversy either for her personal opinions or for the portrayal of some of her characters.
The main reasons why J.K. Rowling has received so much backlash in the past years are her comments against transexual women, the discriminatory portrayal of certain characters, and her not very well-founded “inclusion.” These have tainted the saga even if we try to separate the artist from the piece, and even those involved in the saga are aware of it. This is why so many actors and celebs have spoken about her.
The first one to comment on the matter when the controversy started was Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. In a statement made through The Trevor Project, he said 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 also encouraged fans who seemed confronted by Rowling’s comments to stick to the books and the story itself:
“If you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred.”
Watson, who played Hermione Granger, has become a renowned activist especially when it comes to subjects of feminism and gender. She expressed her thoughts on Twitter:
“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. 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.”
Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley, has had a more private life without social media (just recently he opened his Instagram account), but it didn’t impede him to speak out on behalf of the trans community. In a statement via The Times he said:
“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. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”
The actress that portrayed the beloved Luna Lovegood, has also become a very vocal activist. She’s probably the one who addressed directly Rowling in her very lengthy statement on Twitter:
“Feeling like you don’t fit in or aren’t accepted for who you are the worst, most lonely feelings a human can experience, and I won’t be helping to marginalize trans women and men further. I applaud the immense bravery they show in embracing themselves and think we all should listen to their stories. I think it’s irresponsible to discuss such a delicate topic over Twitter through fragmented thoughts and I wish Jo wouldn’t. I disagree with her opinion that cis-women are the most vulnerable minority in this situation and I think she’s on the wrong side of this debate, but that doesn’t mean she has completely lost her humanity.”
Wright, who portrayed Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter saga, also went on Twitter to express her support for the community:
“If Harry Potter was a source of love and belonging for you, that love is infinite and there to take without judgment or question. Transwomen are Women. I see and love you, Bonnie x.”
Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts, declared he’s constantly trying to educate himself on the matter and prompted people to respect the community.
“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process. As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men, and non-binary identities are valid.”
More recently he declared he regrets taking the role of Lile Elbe in The Danish Girl, accepting it was not for him, a cis man, to portray the life of a transgender woman, thus denying visibility and real inclusion to a transgender actress.
The actor who played the role of Percy Weasley in some of the films followed his peers’ lead and tweeted:
“My beautiful, brave, strong, trans friends and house of #ChrisNess family. We love you. I can’t say it enough. You’re wonderful, and deserve to be treated as such. Please know that. Be proud of who you are. We are proud of you.”
Last but not least, Leung, who gave life to Cho Chang on the saga, was brief but effective. She started a thread on Twitter saying:
“So, you want my thoughts on Cho Chang? Okay, here goes…”
The tweets that followed were kinks to charities and foundations that support and raise money for trans people, especially black trans women and men.
Photos from: @hbomax / @emmawatson / @evannalynch / @thisisbwright / Shutterstock / @cwrankin / @_katieleung_