Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne criticises JK Rowling's trans comments

·4 min read

From Digital Spy

Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne has criticised creator JK Rowling following a series of tweets posted by the author about trans people.

The Harry Potter writer sparked a big backlash and accusations of transphobia over the weekend after posting a tweet about menstruation.

Sharing an article called "Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate", Rowling wrote: "'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

She was strongly criticised for ignoring trans men, women who had hysterectomies and a range of other people.

Redmayne, who plays Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts series, has now criticised the author's comments in a new statement to Variety.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

"Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself," he said. "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."

Redmayne himself was previously criticised for portraying a transgender woman in 2015's The Danish Girl.

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

He joins Daniel Radcliffe in criticising Rowling's comments, after the Harry Potter star penned an essay for The Trevor Project in which he highlighted that nearly 80% of transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination over their gender identity.

"Transgender women are women," he said. "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."

Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang, responded to Rowling's comments more indirectly by posting resources for Black trans people, while Draco Malfoy's son actor Bertie Gilbert accused the writer of a "public crusade to deny an already marginalised group the right to just f**king be".

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Defending herself from transphobia accusations, Rowling tweeted: "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 nonsense.

"I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so."

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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