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Why “Harry Potter” Radcliffe condemned Joan Rowling

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Daniel Radcliffe is standing firm on his stance against transphobia, shedding light on why he felt the need to speak out in 2020 when Harry Potter author JK Rowling made polarizing remarks about transgender people.

The star of The Incredibles: The Al Yankovic Story, who came of age on screen as the titular boy in Warner Bros. of the eight-film Harry Potter franchise, has joined several Wizarding World leaders in condemning the billionaire author and advocating for those affected by Rowling’s tweets mocking the phrase “menstruating people.”

“The reason I… felt really, really like I had to say something when I did it was because, especially after Potter, I met so many queer and trans kids and young people , who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on it,” Radcliffe recently told IndieWire. “And so seeing them hurt that day, I wanted them to know that not everyone in the franchise feels that way. And that was very important.”

At the time, Radcliffe had worked for years with the Trevor Project—a crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth—and wrote an open letter to the nonprofit that stated, “Transgender women are women.

“Any claim to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all the advice of professional health associations who have far more experience on the subject than Joe or I,” he wrote, also acknowledging that Rowling was “undoubtedly responsible for the course of my life”.

The 33-year-old actor, who has since starred in films including Escape from Pretoria and Guns Akimbo, also reiterated that stance in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published on Monday.

Radcliffe said that after playing Harry, he realized how many of his fans were “trans, non-binary, or genderqueer in some way, and Potter was a big part of that identity.”

That and “a growing awareness of the money I had and wanting to do something useful with it” led him to start working with the Trevor Project while performing “Equus” in New York, he told THR.

“There was a point where I can’t look myself in the eye when I’ve been with this organization for 10 years and not say anything,” Radcliffe said.

After completing work on the last Potter film in 2011, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, the actor made some unique creative decisions. He worked in the theater and avoided the franchise. He has also played a number of eccentric characters in films and television projects such as The Swiss Army, The Hornets, The Miracle Workers and The Lost City.

The roles he chose turned out to be by design and helped him land a final gig on The Weird as a Yankovic parody musician. (He’s also starring in the upcoming off-Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merry Ride.)

“When I was finishing ‘Potter’ and trying to figure out what my career was going to be after that, I always said that I wanted to be the kind of actor who keeps his roles so interesting that when you do something, people go ‘Oh, he in this, he always makes interesting choices,” he said.

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