Since the world closed the book on Harry Potter more than a decade ago, J.K. Rowling has thrown the Wizarding World in the garbage can, soaked it in kerosene, and lit it ablaze. Even ignoring the zombie franchise limping by in the series’ wake, Potter’s creator has made it very well known that the only thing she likes more than the bowel movements of wizards is transphobia. No one knows why Rowling has made it her life’s mission to spoil whatever public goodwill she had on a worthless quest to have her bogus beliefs received with warmth and understanding. But she did, and it’s put the young cast of the children’s entertainment series Harry Potter in a very tough position. Should they support their old transphobic friend who helped earn them millions and betray the legions of fans who turned to the series for comfort, enjoyment, and identification?
For the most part, it’s been a mixed bag. Lord Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes, called the “verbal abuse” against the author “appalling.” However, when he puts it that way, it does seem a little unfair to criticize the world’s most famous author for directing hatred against a marginalized group.
Still, not every cast member was as willing to sympathize with Rowling’s transphobia. Daniel Radcliffe made his position known in an open letter in 2020. “Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote on The Trevor Project’s website. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people.” Thankfully, he stands by his words. In an interview with IndieWire, the Weird actor says that he wouldn’t be “able to look myself in the mirror” if he didn’t say something.
“The reason I felt very much as though I needed to say something when I did was that, 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. But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”
It sure seems easy and rewarding to treat people with dignity and respect. It’s as if this guy read Harry Potter and took its message to heart. Meanwhile, J.K. Rowling’s latest book is about a famous cartoonist who gets “canceled” because they’re transphobic. Sounds great.