Daniel Radcliffe has explained why he felt it so important to defend trans people in the wake of JK Rowling’s ‘painful’ comments.
The Harry Potter actor penned a letter in June 2020, apologising for “the pain” Rowling’s comments had caused Harry Potter fans and declaring “transgender women are women”.
Two years on, with Rowling continuing to spout anti-trans rhetoric, Radcliffe has doubled down on his stance and explained why he spoke out in the first place.
“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, 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,” he told IndieWire.
“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.”
Daniel Radcliffe. (Dave Benett/WireImage)
As for why he chose to publish the letter through Trevor Project, which offers crisis and support services for LGBTQ+ youth, Radcliffe explained: “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.”
In his 2020 open letter, Radcliffe was keen to encourage fans who had found meaning in the Harry Potter franchise to not lose that connection, adding: “If you believe that a particular character is trans, non-binary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual… then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that.”
His latest statement has also been met with support from the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.
“Rowling has irreparably damaged the HP legacy, but it still means a for Daniel Radcliffe to speak up and say this,” one fan wrote, “he owes her nothing and is a welcome voice of support.”
Another added: “As a trans woman who loved Harry Potter with all her heart and soul, Daniel Radcliffe your words mean more to me than you can ever know.”
Daniel Radcliffe is just such a good guy, just a weird dude living his life and supporting trans people. Great dude https://t.co/Tu7n9bv7a6
— Ȟ̴̡̛̥̳̤̺̪̺̹͉͍̖̲̩͍͐̄́̄͋͌͛͊͜eather̸̠̿̍̈́ (@serpentinedr3am) November 2, 2022
We can’t undo the massive amount of damage JK has done, but maybe Daniel Radcliffe can make queer and trans kids who felt betrayed by the author of their favorite series feel accepted again. He has such integrity and I admire him greatly. https://t.co/JRMKNTsfYv
— Allegra Clark (@SimplyAllegra) November 2, 2022
Daniel Radcliffe continues to be good. Love this little weirdo. https://t.co/cYpyraDYEp
— Olivia Truffaut-Wong (@iWatchiAm) November 1, 2022
What really strikes me about this quote is, if Daniel Radcliffe met a lot of trans kids who identified with Potter, then JKR definitely did too.
She met them. She heard their stories.
And she still went full TERF. https://t.co/ua02V16d0b
— Seriously VOTE BLUE NOVEMBER 8!!! (@tonygoldmark) November 2, 2022
Radcliffe’s comments come just days after Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes spoke out in support of JK Rowling.
Daniel Radcliffe will next appear in Weird Al’s parody biopic, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, alongside Rachel Evan Wood as Madonna.