Daniel Radcliffe said he felt compelled to speak out in response to J.K Rowling’s June 6 Tweets about trans women that caused a backlash.
In an open letter published in The Trevor Project, Radcliffe said he was “compelled to say something” and apologize for any pain Rowling’s comments may have caused fans of the Harry Potter series.
In Rowling’s tweet, she shared an article by Devex called, “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate.” The article was about issues around menstruation during COVID-19. Access to sanitary items, privacy, soap and water may be diminished in some parts of the world, it said, so the opinion piece called for funding and initiating programs to address that issue.
When Rowling shared the article in her Tweet post she commented about the headline, saying, ‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Twitter Users Fired Back & So Did Daniel Radcliffe, Saying His Response Was Not About In-Fighting With Rowling
Right off the top of the open letter, Radcliffe said his comments were not media fodder about a disagreement between him and Rowling. He wrote:
I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now. While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.
In Radcliffe’s letter, he echos what many on Twitter were saying, that her comments could be harmful to young transgender people, especially, who are dealing with figuring out how to be open about their identities, saying “Seventy-eight percent of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity. It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm.”
That percentage is according to the Trevor project, he said.
Some Twitter users agreed that Rowling’s comments were a slap in the face.
Radcliffe wrote, “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.”
Radcliffe Said He is ‘Deeply Sorry for the Pain’ Rowlings Comments Caused Fans of the Harry Potter Books
The main reason behind Radcliffe’s response to Rowling seemed to be to address the fans who were hurt or offended by Rowling’s comments, which continue in several tweets on her page.
Radcliffe wrote, “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.”
Rowling’s other tweets from June 6 address her rationale on her opinions about transgender identities and not thinking it’s “hateful” to say her “life has been shaped by being female,” yet she would “march along with trans people who were being discriminated against for that reason.”
Radcliffe wrote to fans:
I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you. If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much. Love always, Dan
JK Rowling Has Defenders, Who Are Tweeting That They Agree With Her Comments Under the hashtag #istandwithjk
Several Twitter users have come to Rowling’s defense. One named @Krissmasters80 said, “JK Rowling is allowed to have a different point of view and opinion! We can still do this and treat each other with respect and courtesy. Stop preaching love and care when it ONLY suits your agenda. #istandwithjk.
Another Twitter user said simply, “Biology is not Bigotry.”
A person whose Twitter handle is @frederikrodamp tweeted that he thinks what Radcliffe did was “kind” for the trans community but the way Rowling is being treated but the “LGBTQIA+is community is appalling.”