Fantastic Beasts star, Eddie Redmayne has criticised JK Rowling’s comments on trans people
The Fantastic Beasts star has issued a statement saying he disagrees with the Harry Potter author, after a series of controversial tweets she posted over the weekend which saw her accused of transphobia.
Redmayne, 38, told 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. 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.’ In 2015, Redmayne was Oscar nominated for The Danish Girl, in which he played Lili Elbe, a trans woman who was one of the earliest recipients of gender reassignment surgery.
The following year, he took on the role of Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, a spin-off of Rowling’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
The Oscar winner has taken in the main role in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Curse Of Grindelwald; a further three films have been confirmed. Rowling, 54, sparked controversy on Saturday night when she took offence to an article that used the phrase ‘people who menstruate’.
She tweeted: ‘‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? ‘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.
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
‘The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
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.’ Following her tweets, Daniel Radcliffe – who played Harry Potter – issued a statement with The Trevor Project, disagreeing with the writer’s views.
The 30-year-old said: ‘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.
‘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.
‘According to The Trevor Project, 78% 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.’
He continued: ‘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.
‘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.’ Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the series, has also publicly disagreed with Rowling, saying she was ‘deeply saddened’ by the tweets.
And Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang in the franchise, simply shared links to organisations and fundraisers to help the transgender community amidst the drama.