Harry Potter’s Ralph Fiennes Defends J.K. Rowling In The Midst Of Her Controversies

Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

The Wizarding World has been entertaining audiences for decades, with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels growing into multiple film franchises, theme parks, and even stage plays. But the acclaimed author has been in hot water for the last few years over her comments about transgender women. While plenty of actors from the movies have come out against these ideas, Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes recently defended Rowling in the midst of her controversies.

While the Harry Potter franchise continues to be part of the pop culture landscape, some fans are attempting to separate the Wizarding World from its creator. J.K. Rowling’s comments about the transgender community has resulted in massive outcry. Some even boycotted the behemoth property altogether, as Warner Bros. put its support behind her. Actor Ralph Fiennes recently offered his perspective on the controversy to the New York Times, where he was quoted saying:

J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings. It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being. The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling. I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.

He Who Must Not Be Named has spoken. And it seems like Ralph Fiennes has taken umbrage with J.K. Rowling receiving so much hate online over her views about transgender women. And given the sensitive nature of the discourse, smart money says that plenty of Harry Potter fans are going to have a reaction to what the Voldemort actor had to say about the ongoing situation.

Ralph Fiennes’ comments to the New York Times about J.K. Rowling stand in juxtaposition with what most of the Wizarding World actors have said about the matter. When the story first broke the internet, the trio of Harry Potters stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint all issued statements in support of the trans community. Fantastic BeastsEddie Redmayne did the same thing, which turned heads since Rowling is writing that spinoff series. As Draco Malfoy actor Tom Felton recently clarified, she only came to the set a handful of times for the eight-film Harry Potter franchise.

The controversy surrounding J.K. Rowling dates back to 2019 and 2020, and revolve around her controversial views on transgender women, and sex vs gender. Her statements resulted in a massive backlash, with organizations like GLAAD calling them “cruel” and “inaccurate.” And activists condemning her comments on trans women, who are already a vulnerable group. But the author has only doubled down, while also receiving massive online hate including death threats. And it seems like that extreme reaction is that Ralph Fiennes is taking the most umbrage with. 

Ralph Fiennes’ new movie The Menu will hit theaters on November 18th. 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. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.