"Fantastic Beasts" Star Eddie Redmayne Has Spoken Out Against J.K. Rowling's Anti-Trans Tweets

    "Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid."

    Eddie Redmayne has become the latest star affiliated with the Harry Potter franchise to speak out against J.K. Rowling's recent anti-trans tweets.

    Angela Weiss / Getty Images

    Over the weekend, Rowling shared a Devex article about menstrual health to her 15 million followers, taking issue with the phrase "people who menstruate", before sarcastically implying that the author should have just used the word "women".

    ‘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

    After receiving criticism from many followers accusing her of trans erasure, Rowling doubled down on her comments before suggesting that cisgender women face more discrimination.

    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.

    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.

    Well, now Redmayne — who plays Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts series — has denounced the comments in a statement to Variety.

    Warner Bros

    "Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne began his statement.

    Angela Weiss / Getty Images

    Redmayne, who earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a transgender woman in the 2016 movie, The Danish Girl, continued: "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," he went on.

    Angela Weiss / Getty Images

    Redmayne signed off the statement: "They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so."

    Redmayne joins Harry Potter actors Katie Leung, Noma Dumezweni, Evanna Lynch, and Daniel Radcliffe in speaking out against Rowling's comments.

    Jenny Anderson / Getty Images

    Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter movies, responded to the tweets by sharing a series of links in support of charities dedicated to helping black trans women.

    Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger in the first-ever stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, shared a tweet directed at Rowling in which she listed a series of prominent transgender women.

    Evanna Lynch, who appeared as Luna Lovegood in the movies, shared a lengthy statement describing the tweets as "hurtful and irresponsible".

    Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe released a statement through the Trevor Project, saying that he was "deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused".

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    Radcliffe wrote: "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, non-binary, 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."

    Rowling's comments are just the latest in a long line of controversies surrounding the Fantastic Beasts series, which could call its future into question.

    Warner Bros

    On top of long-standing concerns about the casting of Johnny Depp in the films, Ezra Miller also became the subject of backlash in April when a video emerged appearing to show him choking a woman on the street.

    You can read Redmayne's full statement here.

    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.

    Ellie Woodward is Celebrity and Entertainment Editor for BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

    Contact Ellie Woodward at ellie.woodward@buzzfeed.com.

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