J.K Rowling attends the UK Premiere of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald" at Cineworld Leicester Square on November 13, 2018 in London, England Source: John Phillips/Getty Images

J.K. Rowling Lashes Out at 'Harry Potter' Actors Supportive of Trans Women

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

"Harry Potter" scribe J.K. Rowling has characterized her anti-trans sentiments as a matter of free speech and has gone so far as to declare she would go to prison for the right to express her views – but that doesn't mean she won't hold a grudge against those who disagree with her, even when it comes to the actors that brought her characters to cinematic life.

"The author and self-described TERF, or trans-exclusionary radical feminist, responded to a social media user Wednesday who wrote, 'Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology ... safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them' for their previous support of trans rights," Entertainment Weekly reported.

The answer posted by Rowling was not what that fan seemingly expected. The author threw down the gauntlet with the words, "Not safe, I'm afraid."

"Celebs who cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women's hard-won rights and who used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors can save their apologies for traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single sex spaces," Rowling went on to add.

Stars of the film franchise Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson "have not publicly commented on the transitioning of minors," EW noted, "but they have offered their broader support for the trans community."

In an open letter published in 2020 at the website of LGBTQ+ Youth support group The Trevor Project, Radcliffe stated unequivocally that "trans women are women" – the very point that transgender women have been making for years in the face of social and political hostility.

"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 added.

The actor went on to note: "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."

Radcliffe invited readers to join him in learning how to "be a better ally" by reading The Trevor Project's Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.

"It's an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics, including the differences between sex and gender, and shares best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people," Radcliffe explained in the open letter.

Rowling's years-long critique of trans women, and the controversy it created, kicked off in June of 2020 when she tweeted on an opinion piece published by the website Devex, a media platform for the global development community, that used the phrase "people who menstruate."

"I'm sure there used to be a word for those people," Rowling tweeted. "Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

She continued with another thread speaking about the concept of biological sex.

"If sex isn't real, there's no same-sex attraction," she tweeted. "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."

Rowling also claimed she would march "if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans."

But her more recent tweets have taken aim at trans women in a manner that seem provocative, to say the least. In one recent tweet, the famed author declared that trans women are "men performing their idea of femaleness," and she also called out 10 trans women by name on the platform, including several cherry-picked individuals Rowling indicated were sexual offenders.

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Read These Next