After becoming one of the most prominent and monetarily successful authors of the 21st century, J.K. Rowling has also become a Twitter personality, but not one without controversy. She’s made headlines for defending her position as a radical feminist and for taking stances that internet factions have felt have been anti-transgender (Rowling has denied these claims). This has meant a lot of people involved in the Harry Potter universe have been asked to respond about the author and her opinions, including the likes of Eddie Redmayne and now Tom Felton, who is in the midst of interviews in promotion of his new book.
The Draco Malfoy actor has been busy promoting Beyond the Wand, a story which gets into a lot of behind-the-scenes information from the set of the eight released Harry Potter films (Fantastic Beasts is a separate franchise), including set stories about Alan Rickman and information about his special relationship with Emma Watson. As part of this promotion, The Independent asked Tom Felton to share how he has felt about J.K. Rowling's online positions. According to Felton, he has not been all that up on it.
It’s true that Felton is a big-time dog guy; his social media feeds are dominated by his adorable dog Willow and he often shares fan art of the pup on “#WillowartWednesdays.” Once, his beloved pup was even sorted into a Harry Potter house. So the pup really is a focal point for him.
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Yet, The Independent mentioned in the article that Rowling is only mentioned a few times throughout the book, calling it a "conspicuous absence." However, Felton also said that was by design, clarifying how much the author was actually on set during filming.
At the end of the day, though, the former Harry Potter star did not seem particularly interested in getting deeply involved in the online discourse, though he did note that he feels it is OK to have differing points of view.
Other Harry Potter franchise actors have expressed similar statements, including Felton’s Malfoy father figure, Jason Isaacs. The latter previously said his opinions might differ from the author’s but that people are “complicated” and he wasn’t interested in stabbing J.K. Rowling “in back.” Rupert Grint and others have toed a similar line, with the Ron Weasley actor calling the discourse a “tricky one.” Ralph Fiennes has been a little more defensive of the author, noting there are many who might not agree with her, but that he doesn’t understand the “vitriol” directed at the Harry Potter creator.
Other stars in the franchise like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have more directly stated their support of transgender women without addressing Rowling's comments specifically.
J.K. Rowling herself went viral this weekend again online when she was asked by a fan how she “sleep[s] at night” after having turned off a slew of fans based on her online discourse about radical feminism. She answered on Twitter, “I read my most recent royalty cheques and find the pain goes away pretty quickly.”
Beyond The Wand: The Magic And Mayhem Of Growing Up A Wizard can be found on shelves everywhere, now.
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Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.