Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane has spoken out in defence of Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.
This summer has seen a thunderstorm of controversy surround the previously beloved author, following repeated comments on social media that are widely viewed as transphobic. Coltrane – who played the lovable Hogwarts gamekeeper across all eight movies – has now revealed, though, that he doesn’t consider what Rowling’s said to be “offensive.”
Speaking to Radio Times, the 70-year-old Scottish actor swerved away from talking about the nature of Rowling’s words too much and instead blasted the “whole Twitter generation” and outrage culture, admitting that he sounded like “a grumpy old man.”
“I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended.” Coltrane adds: “They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, ‘Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.’”
Coltrane’s response to the situation is in sharp contrast to his younger Potter co-stars. Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, who currently works with Rowling on the Fantastic Beasts films, have both shared lengthy statements distancing themselves from the writer’s views and asserting their own support for trans people. That said, it’s not just the younger stars who feel this way. 79-year-old Miriam Margoyles – who played Professor Sprout – has also strongly criticized Rowling.
The controversy has flared up again this week as well following the publication of the author’s latest book, detective novel Troubled Blood, which features a trans serial killer, something that can only be viewed as the creator doubling down on the anti-trans rhetoric she’s been posting online.
With J.K. Rowling only encouraging more backlash, it remains to be seen if and how this will affect the future of Warner Bros.’ Wizarding World franchise.