“Harry Potter” actor Ralph Fiennes has defended author J.K. Rowling over what he called “disgusting” abuse she has received for her views on transgender issues.
Fiennes, who plays Lord Voldemort in the film adaptations of the beloved books, said he can understand where she “is coming from.”
“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings,” Fiennes told the New York Times. “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.”
The actor also shared that he could empathize with the author and her views, which have received backlash in the past.
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“I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women,” he said. “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.”
Rowling has been the recipient of numerous death threats and abuse after speaking out on topics like women’s rights and free speech.
Last November, she tweeted: “I’ve now received so many death threats I could paper the house with them, and I haven’t stopped speaking out.”
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This is not the first instance in which Fiennes has defended the once-revered author.
Fiennes previously came to her side in March 2021. “I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” the actor told The Telegraph at the time. “I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”
In 2020, Rowling made headlines when she tweeted: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”