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JK Rowling says Harry Potter stars can ‘save their apologies’ over differing trans views

"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," the author has said

By Alastair James

JK Rowling header
JK Rowling (Image: WikiMedia/Dan Ogren)

JK Rowling has said that the stars of the Harry Potter films can “save their apologies” over their differing views on trans people.

The author has repeatedly stirred controversy over the last few years for her views on sex and gender. Following comments she made in 2020, a number of the film franchise’s stars, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, distanced themselves from the author.

After the publication of the Cass review into gender identity services in England earlier this week, JK Rowling was messaged by someone on X saying they were “Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology … safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them …”

On Wednesday (10 April) Rowling responded: “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.”

In 2020, Rowling wrote an essay citing concerns about single-sex spaces such as bathrooms and changing rooms. She said she had “deep concerns about the effect [of] the trans rights movement.” She has also mocked inclusive language like ‘people who menstruate’. Rowling has denied she is transphobic.

“Time will tell whether I’ve got this wrong” – JK Rowling

In 2020 Radcliffe countered the 58-year-old author by declaring: “Trans women are women.” He has since told IndieWire in 2022, “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.” He added: “Seeing them hurt on that day, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. That was really important.”

Emma Watson also responded to Rowling’s comments in 2020 by saying “Trans people are who they say they are.” She also declared at the 2022 BAFTAs, “I’m here for all of the witches.” Similarly, Rupert Grint has distanced himself from Rowling describing her as an “auntie” who he doesn’t “necessarily agree with” on everything. Other stars such as Eddie Redmayne have also differed from Rowling.

Last year Rowling said she “absolutely knew” her comments on sex and gender would make Harry Potter fans “deeply unhappy.” Rowling noted she had no regrets. She also said: “Time will tell whether I’ve got this wrong. I can only say that I’ve thought about it deeply and hard and long and I’ve listened, I promise, to the other side.”