In a move that we can only assume will soon serve as the genesis of a brand new, bestselling fantasy franchise—Hagrid And Voldemort And Nobody Fucking Else Do Some Wizard Shit, perhaps—Ralph Fiennes has opted out of the “Nothing!” he could have said, and instead voiced his sincere confusion as to why people are being so mean to his old pal J.K. Rowling. In an interview the actor gave to The Telegraph this week, Fiennes—who played He-Who-Could-Have-Just-Shut-Up in all the latter Harry Potter films—stated that “I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her. I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”
And, really: If Ralph Fiennes is appalled by violence, verbal or otherwise, he should really check out the things people say and do to trans people, especially when goaded on by transphobic horseshit propagated by folks like Rowling, whose comments over the last year have tapped a consistent drumbeat alleging that trans women are not women, that trans men are not men, and that being trans is, like, some sort of highly convoluted ploy to gain access to women’s restrooms. Said doubling-and-tripling-down on these ideas has led to a wide number of people associated with the franchise—including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint—to issue clear statements that transphobia is reprehensible, and that believing people when they tell you who they are is key to treating people properly in this world.
Fiennes didn’t go into further detail on the matter—moving on to complaints about plays people won’t let him put on anymore, and talking up the eventual release of No Time To Die. But it’s clear from his comments that he views the issues surrounding Rowling as one of decorum and discourse rather than, say, human rights—i.e., “There’s no reason to be mean to someone just because they’re questioning your humanity or identity, as long as they do it in a polite way.” Still, though, good news for Rowling, who’s maintained the Death Eater vote once again. Huzzah.