As ‘Hogwarts Legacy’ reignites controversy, these ‘Harry Potter’ stars have spoken out in support of J.K. Rowling
With the release of Hogwarts Legacy pending, it’s inevitable that the transphobic views held by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling are surfacing once again. Not that they need to resurface, exactly, since Rowling does a pretty good job of reminding people that she’s problematic on a fairly regular basis.
While many of the stars of the Harry Potter film franchise, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have all made statements indicating that they unequivocally stand behind the trans community, unfortunately there are others who seem to think that Rowling’s comments are no big deal.
Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldermort in the films, told the The New York Times that the so-called abuse Rowling receives is “disgusting.”
“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings,” Fiennes said last October. “It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being. The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling.”
“I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women,” he continued. “But it’s not some obscene, uber-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman, and I feel I’m a woman, and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”
Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter, the alter ego of Voldermort’s right-hand woman, Bellatrix Lestrange, told the U.K.’s Sunday Times in November that she thought the backlash against Rowling was “horrendous.”
“It’s horrendous, a load of bollocks. I think she has been hounded,” Bonham Carter said at the time. “It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything — that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience.”
The late Robbie Coltrane, who played the half-human, half-giant Hagrid, chalked the whole thing up to people looking to be offended.
“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 told the Radio Times in 2020. “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,'” he continued, adding that he didn’t want to comment further “because of all the hate mail and all that s**t,” which he said he didn’t need in his life.
Tom Felton, who plays Draco Malfoy, didn’t quite go so far as to defend Rowling. However, in a Sunday Times interview from last year, he instead attempted to stay neutral when discussing the author and instead focused on the positive contributions she’s made to pop culture.
“I couldn’t speak for what others have said or what she said, to be completely honest, but I’m often reminded, attending Comic Cons in particular, that no one has single-handedly done more for bringing joy to so many different generations and walks of life,” Felton said in October 2022. “I’m constantly reminded of her positive work in that field and as a person. I’ve only had a handful of meetings with her, but she has always been lovely. So I’m very grateful for that.”