Eddie Redmayne has weighed in on the row surrounding Harry Potter author JK Rowling, saying he believes the “vitriol” that she has received online is “equally disgusting” as the abuse faced by members of the transgender community.
In recent times, Rowling has repeatedly come under fire for comments she has made about transgender people , which Eddie was asked for his thoughts on during an interview with the Daily Mail.
The Oscar-winning star – who previously played groundbreaking trans artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, and now appears in the Fantastic Beasts series, penned by Rowling – began by saying that he has many transgender “friends and colleagues”, saying they are “having their human rights challenged around the world and facing discrimination on a daily basis”.
However, he went on to say that while he disagreed with Rowling’s views, he feels the “vitriol” that the author received online is “absolutely disgusting”, and recently sent her what the newspaper described as a “private note”.
He added that he felt the treatment of Rowling online is “equally disgusting” to the abuse faced by trans people, stating: “Similarly, there continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating.”
Since the interview was published, many have voiced their disappointment with Eddie for equating the abuse faced by transgender people with the treatment of Rowling, particularly as a cisgender actor who played a real-life trans figurehead in a major film…
Back in June, Rowling came under fire when she commented on an article titled Creating a More Equal Post-Covid-19 World for People Who Menstruate, pushing back against the headline for not referring to those who have periods as “women”.
As many online reminded the author that transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate, Eddie issued a statement, distancing himself from her comments.
He said: “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.”
While Harry Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have all condemned Rowling’s comments about trans people, co-star Robbie Coltrane recently spoke out in her defence.
“I don’t think what she said was offensive really,” the Hagrid actor said. “I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended.
“They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, ‘Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.’”
Useful websites and helplines:
The Gender Trust supports anyone affected by gender identity | 01527 894 838
Mermaids offers information, support, friendship and shared experiences for young people with gender identity issues | 0208 1234819
LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for LGBT people in Scotland. Text 07786 202 370
Gires provides information for trans people, their families and professionals who care for them | 01372 801554
Depend provides support, advice and information for anyone who knows, or is related to, a transsexual person in the UK
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.