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J.K. Rowling Reignites Controversy: Says 'Harry Potter' Stars Daniel Radcliffe And Emma Watson Can 'Save Their Apologies'

J.K. Rowling sparks new controversy by criticizing former 'Harry Potter' stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson for their stances on transgender rights, reigniting a heated debate surrounding her previous anti-transgender remarks.

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JK Rowling Reignites Controversy with Harry Potter stars Photo: Getty Images
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Controversial author J.K. Rowling has taken aim at her former Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. In a series of posts on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, April 10, the fantasy book series' author — who has previously faced criticism for her anti-transgender comments and support for individuals with transphobic views — shared a recent independent review "of the medical evidence for transitioning children."

Responding to a follower's comment on X, one user stated, "Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology ... safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them ... " (Neither Radcliffe, 34, nor Watson, 33, have publicly shared their views on medical transitioning of children.)

Rowling replied, "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 June 2020, Rowling publicly shared an essay criticizing transgender rights, stating, "I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode 'woman' as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it."

Following Rowling's comments, LGBTQ advocates and several actors from her film adaptations swiftly condemned her remarks. GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis labeled it a "misinformed and dangerous missive about transgender people" that "flies in the face of medical and psychological experts and devalues trans people accounts of their own lives."

After Rowling's essay was published, Radcliffe — known for portraying the iconic boy wizard in all eight Harry Potter films adapted from Rowling's novels between 2001 and 2011 — expressed his backing for transgender women in a brief essay for the Trevor Project.

Asserting unequivocally in the piece that "transgender women are women," the actor additionally stated, "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."

Watson, renowned for her portrayal of Hermione Granger, didn't directly mention Rowling but shared on X the same day, "Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are."

"I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are," she added in a subsequent post.

Various other actors from the Potter series, whether in support of Rowling or not, have also expressed their viewpoints, including Jason Isaacs, the late Robbie Coltrane, Harry Melling, Evanna Lynch, and Rupert Grint.

“I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men,” remarked Grint, 35, as reported by the U.K.'s Sunday Times.

“We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”

The actor, known for his portrayal of Ron Weasley, later contributed to The Times' "What I've Learnt" series, where he disclosed his perspective on "auntie" Rowling, stating, "I don't necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she's still my auntie. ... It's a tricky one."

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