‘I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her’: Ralph Fiennes defends JK Rowling amid trans row

It must be noted that other cast members of the many HP films — Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson — did not side with the author

Controversies have followed Harry Potter fame author JK Rowling for a while now. Her tweets on the transgender community caused outrage and further led to many publishing houses and people cancelling the author. Now, actor Ralph Fiennes, who essayed the character Lord Voldemort in the HP films has come out in support.

According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, which quoted his interview with The Telegraph, Ralph Fiennes said, “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.”

It must be noted that other cast members of the many HP films — Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson — did not side with the author. In a statement posted on The Trevor Project, Radcliffe said, “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I…We need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm,” he had added.

Watson had lent her support on social media. “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are. I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are,” she had tweeted.

Eddie Redmayne, who plays the lead role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, was quoted as saying to Variety, “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process. As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”

In June 2020, Rowling had disagreed with an opinion piece titled “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate”. In a series of tweets she had argued that “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.” This triggered a widespread backlash.

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