Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe Explains Why He Spoke Out Against J.K. Rowling’s Trans Rhetoric

Daniel Radcliffe in Harr Potter and the Deathly Hallows
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Wizarding World is a major part of pop culture, with entire generations growing up on Harry’s adventures through Hogwarts. Author J.K. Rowling created a worldwide sensation with her novels, which were expanded to a movie franchise, theme parks, and even Broadway plays. But Rowling has landed herself in hot water over her views on the transgender community, leading some to boycott the magical franchise altogether. And Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe recently explained why he spoke out against the author’s trans rhetoric.

J.K. Rowling has been at the center of controversy for years now, thanks to comments she’s made about sex and gender, specifically related to transgender women. This prompted various figures from the Wizarding World to speak out, including the golden trio of Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe. The latter actor recently spoke to IndieWire about his decision to use his platform in this way, saying:

The reason I was felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing Potter, I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that. And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important. It was really important as I’ve worked with the Trevor Project for more than 10 years, and so I don’t think I would’ve been able to look myself in the mirror had I not said anything. But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.

Well, there you have it. Rather than trying to get in on a trend or make waves, it sounds like Daniel Radcliffe came out against J.K. Rowling’s transgender comments because he’s heard so many queer people connect to Harry Potter’s story throughout the years. And he wanted to make sure they still found a safe space in the beloved franchise. What a class act.

Daniel Radcliffe’s comments will ring true to plenty of LGBTQ+ folks out there who grew up either reading or watching (or both) Harry Potter’s journey to adulthood. The Boy Who Lived has a sense of otherness throughout the entirety of the franchise, which is something that many queer people feel as they’re also growing up and going to school. Daniel Radcliffe is well aware of this connection, and didn’t want J.K. Rowling’s views on gender to sour the Wizarding World for fans.

While some people have been boycotting the Harry Potter franchise, J.K. Rowling remains super connected to the Wizarding World. The studio recently defended its relationship with her, with Rowling also serving as the screenwriter of the Fantastic Beasts films. Although it’s currently unclear if Warner Bros. is moving forward with the final two planned movies.

Daniel Radcliffe’s new movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story will arrive on the Roku channel November 4th (check out the reviews here). In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.