“Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe sent an open letter declaring, “Transgender women are women,” during the peak of the outcry against J.K. Rowling for her stance on the transgender community. In a recent interview with IndieWire, Radcliffe discussed his motivation for publicly criticizing the writer who, in a sense, launched his career as an actor.
Radcliffe stated, “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. 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.”
On the website of The Trevor Project, Radcliffe made his message public. The group is a nonprofit organization that works to protect LGBTQ people from suicide. “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,” Radcliffe stated. “But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”
In his extended letter, Radcliffe stated, “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 continued, “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the [‘Harry Potter’] books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”
In response to Radcliffe’s letter, several other “Harry Potter” stars disagreed with Rowling’s views. The most recent actor to disassociate the franchise from Rowling was Tom Felton, who portrayed Draco Malfoy in the film series. Felton said in an interview with The Independent last month, “I’m pro-choice, pro-discussion, pro-human rights across the board, and pro-love. And anything that is not those things, I don’t really have much time for. It is also a reminder that as much as Jo is the founder of [these] stories, she wasn’t part of the filmmaking process as much as some people might think. I think I only recall seeing her once or twice on set.”