Fantastic Beasts Star Eddie Redmayne Addresses J.K. Rowling's Controversial Tweets

Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne said he disagreed with J.K. Rowling’s controversial tweets: “Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid."

By emily belfiore Jun 10, 2020 5:54 PMTags
Watch: Daniel Radcliffe Reacts to J.K. Rowling's Controversy

Eddie Redmayne is the latest member of the Harry Potter franchise to weigh in on J.K. Rowling's transphobic comments.

"Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself," the Fantastic Beasts star said in an interview with Variety. "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."

Redmayne continued, "I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."

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Over the weekend, Rowling shared an opinion article from a global health website titled "Creating a More Equal Post-Covid-19 World for People Who Menstruate" and shared her confusion with the phrase "people who menstruate." In response to the article, she tweeted, "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

Rowling then issued a follow-up statement: "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." 

She also added, "I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so." 

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On June 8, Daniel Radcliffe addressed Rowling's statement in an essay published by The Trevor Project. "Transgender women are women," he wrote. "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."

Concluding his post, he added, "It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm." 

Radcliffe's Harry Potter co-star Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the franchise, also spoke out on social media.

"I know so well what it feels like to find solace and a sense of belonging, a sense of ‘You're not too weird to fit in here' from Harry Potter and how important that influence was in helping me accept myself as a young person," Lynch tweeted. "I'm so sorry to any trans people who feel that's been taken away or that this community is no longer that safe place. But the Harry Potter world/fandom/community is literally made up of millions of people and I for one will work to make it feel inclusive because trans women are women."

Warner Bros. addressed Rowling's comment in a statement on Wednesday night.

"The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues," the statement began. "Warner Bros.' position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world. We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content."