Daniel Radcliffe Says J.K. Rowling's Persistent Transphobia Makes Him 'Really Sad'

Radcliffe suggested Rowling's continued transphobia contradicts the "deeply empathetic" world she created with 'Harry Potter.'

Man in a suit at a press event, holding a microphone, backdrop with logos
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images
Man in a suit at a press event, holding a microphone, backdrop with logos

Daniel Radcliffe has responded to J.K. Rowling's recent assertion that she would not forgive him for calling her out on her persistent transphobia.

In an interview with Chris Heath for The Atlantic, the former Harry Potter star was asked about Rowling's obsession with dedicating her entire online presence to anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. "It makes me really sad, ultimately," said Radcliffe, 34. "Because I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic."

Radcliffe, who grew up in the spotlight portraying the leading role in the Harry Potter series of movies, was among the first celebrities to speak out against Rowling's comments about the transgender community. In 2020, he wrote an essay for the Trevor Project, hitting back against Rowling's apparent belief that trans rights impede the rights of cis women.

"I’d worked with the Trevor Project for 12 years and it would have seemed like, I don’t know, immense cowardice to me to not say something," said Radcliffe when asked about writing the essay. "I wanted to try and help people that had been negatively affected by the comments. And to say that if those are Jo’s views, then they are not the views of everybody associated with the Potter franchise."

Last month, a fan told Harry Potter author Rowling, 58, that they were anticipating an apology from the actors who spoke out against Rowling's anti-trans rhetoric. In response, she wrote that she would not forgive them, even if they did apologize. "Celebs who cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women's hard-won rights and who used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors can save their apologies for traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single sex spaces," she wrote.

When asked about that tweet, in particular, Radcliffe said, "I will continue to support the rights of all LGBTQ people, and have no further comment than that." As for those who suggested he was "ungrateful" for speaking out against Rowling's hateful comments, he said, "nothing in my life would have probably happened the way it is without that person," but "that doesn't mean that you ower the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life."

Rowling, who only ever makes headlines these days for her obsession with making life harder for the trans community and anyone who doesn't conform to binary ideas of gender, said last year that she would "happily" go to prison for her views.

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