Even under fire, J.K. Rowling can count on Robbie Coltrane to have her back. The former Harry Potter star came to the author’s defense as she continues to face backlash for her transphobic comments.
“I don’t think what she said was offensive, really,” the 70-year-old actor said in a recent interview with the Radio Times, per The Independent. “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?”
Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid in the cinematic franchise, continued, “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.’ I don’t want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that s–t, which I don’t need at my time of life.”
Rowling, 55, came under fire in June after expressing her controversial stance on LGBTQ+ issues. She tweeted out an article titled “Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate,” and appeared to support anti-trans sentiments across several tweets afterward. She defended her comments by noting that people should “never assume that because someone thinks differently, they have no knowledge.”
Days later, the British writer continued to stand by her initial comments. She penned an essay on her official website, where she defended her reasoning for speaking out on gender and sex issues. She also outlined how she is an ally for the transgender movement.
“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,” she wrote on June 10. “I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces.”
Though Coltrane is in Rowling’s corner, many more celebrities have publicly denounced her stance. Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular role in the Harry Potter film series, spoke out against Rowling in an essay that was published by The Trevor Project on June 8.
“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,” the 30-year-old Miracle Workers actor wrote at the time. “Transgender women are women.”
Radcliffe added, “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.”
Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, equally expressed in a statement that he does “firmly stand with the trans community” and that “we should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.” Meanwhile, Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, explained in a Twitter thread that “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.”
Rowling has since been required to return a prestigious honor she was previously awarded by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization.
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