Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes defends JK Rowling over transgender comments

The actor said expressing her opinions as a woman did not make her an ‘uber-right-wing fascist.’

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Actor Ralph Fiennes has come to the defence of Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Fiennes, who played Voldemort in the movie adaptations of the popular books, said the “abuse directed at her is disgusting.”

JK Rowling has previously faced criticism after being vocal online about her views on transgender people and biological sex, including stars from the film series, among them Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, speaking out.

Ralph Fiennes at a photocall in London.
Ralph Fiennes at a photocall in London.

However, in a recent interview with the New York Times, Fiennes called the comments made against the author “disgusting” and “appalling”.

“JK 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 centred human being.

“The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling.”

JK Rowling has previously faced criticism after being vocal online about her views on transgender people and biological sex
JK Rowling has previously faced criticism after being vocal online about her views on transgender people and biological sex

His comments follow fellow Harry Potter star Tom Felton’s, who previously said he feels “no-one has single-handedly done more for bringing joy to so many different generations” than JK Rowling.

The actor, who starred as Draco Malfoy, praise Rowling for the “positive work” she has done in the literary world.

In the same interview, Fiennes said JK Rowling expressing her opinions as a woman does not make her “fascist”:

“I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, uber-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.”

Also in his New York Times interview, Fiennes stated he displeasure at “cancel culture”, saying: “Righteous anger is righteous, but often it becomes kind of dumb because it can’t work its way through the grey areas. It has no nuance.”