JK Rowling row: Daniel Radcliffe apologizes to 'Harry Potter' fans
Harry Potter author JK Rowling was recently criticized for making a series of comments against the transgender community. Now, Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular role in the blockbuster Harry Potter movie franchise, has responded to the controversial statements, saying "transgender women are women." The actor also apologized to fans who were hurt by Rowling's remarks. Here's more on this.
Rowling was slammed after she put out a series of tweets where she opined against an article that used the term, "People who menstruate". She added that that the concept of biological sex cannot be discarded and that the same is pivotal for people to "meaningfully discuss their lives". Her comments were berated by many fellow users and noted LGBTQ groups and organizations.
"If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction. If sex isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives," Rowling said.
"I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans," she tweeted. "At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so," the author added.
But her explanation did not sit well with many. US-based non-governmental organization GLAAD tweeted, "JK Rowling continues to align herself with an ideology which willfully distorts facts about gender identity and people who are trans. In 2020, there is no excuse for targeting trans people." Further, disgruntled fans pledged to sell their Harry Potter merchandise and donate towards transgender groups.
Now, in a statement posted to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization working towards prevention of suicide among LGBTQ persons, Radcliffe opined against Rowling in the matter. "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," he said.
Radcliffe cited that 78% of transgender and non-binary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. "It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and non-binary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm," he added.
Radcliffe also addressed Harry Potter fans who felt disappointed after Rowling's comments. He wrote, "To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don't entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you."
"If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity... then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred," Radcliffe said. He also clarified this is not an "in-fighting" between Rowling and himself, adding he felt compelled to say something.