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Voldemort Actor Ralph Fiennes Is Defending J.K. Rowling

Voldemort Actor Ralph Fiennes Is Defending J.K. Rowling

Voldemort Actor Ralph Fiennes Is Defending J.K. Rowling

The actor who played the infamous villain claims people calling out the Harry Potter author's transphobia are filled with "hatred." 

byraffy

While most of the stars associated with the Harry Potter universe have been distancing themselves and speaking out against author J.K. Rowling's transphobia, it looks like Ralph Fiennes is coming to her defense...

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the 58-year-old English actor (who notably played the series' infamous villain Voldemort) said he "doesn't understand" the backlash the British author has been facing over the past year (the controversial author who has been in and out of the news for using her platform as a bestselling author to share transphobic talking points and rhetoric). 

"I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her," Fiennes said, lamenting about "cancel culture." "I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing."

Luckily, a majority of the HP cast recognizes the harm Rowling's comments have on the trans community and were quick to distance themselves and speak up for what's right.

"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," Little Women star and proud trans ally Emma Watson, who famously played Hermione in the HP film series tweeted in June of 2020. "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."

Academy Award-winning Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne (who snagged an Oscar nom for his role in 2015's The Danish Girl) told Variety last year:

"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 JK 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."

And in a 2020 open letter published by The Trevor Project (the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth), Daniel Radcliffe, who famously played the boy who lived, said:

"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."

"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," Radcliffe continued, apologizing for the damage that hurtful statements, like those from Rowling, cause transgender people. "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; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life—then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much."

Radcliffe also provided a link to a resource for people who want to become a better ally to trans and nonbinary folks, and reiterated that he felt compelled to speak up for the trans community, despite Rowling and her work being a big part of his life.

"While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, 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." 

Oh, Voldemort...

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Raffy Ermac

Digital Director, Out.com

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel

Raffy is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, video creator, critic, and digital director of Out Magazine. The former editor-in-chief of PRIDE, he is also a die-hard Rihanna and Sailor Moon stan who loves to write about all things pop culture, entertainment, and identities. Follow him on Instagram (@raffyermac) and Twitter (@byraffy), and subscribe to his YouTube channel