Harry Potter cast criticised for signing up for reunion following J.K. Rowling's transphobic comments

18 November 2021, 13:25

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Return to Hogwarts airs on HBO Max on 1 January 2022.

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Harry Potter's three main stars – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – are being criticised for taking part in the upcoming 20th anniversary reunion special following J.K. Rowling's anti-trans comments.

On January 1, HBO Max will air a special Harry Potter reunion, titled Return to Hogwarts, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (or Sorcerer's Stone in the US). The TV special will feature interviews with the cast and directors, who will delve into the making of the movie. However, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling won't be attending, and will only be appearing in the reunion via archival footage.

Although fans are excited to see the cast reunite for the first time in years, some are unhappy that the three leads have decided to take part in the project because of J.K. Rowling's previous comments about trans people.

READ MORE: 21 wild facts about the first Harry Potter movie we bet you didn't know

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. Picture: Noam Galai/Getty Images for SiriusXM, Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images, Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

In June 2020, Rowling called out an op-ed piece that used "people who menstruate" rather than "women". She received backlash for her remarks but instead of apologising she doubled down on her comments. "If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction," she tweeted.

"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. The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – i.e., to male violence—‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense."

She continued: "I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so."

Rowling then wrote an open letter on her website about trans issues and has since become aligned with the TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) movement in the UK.

In response, all three Harry Potter leads spoke out in support of trans rights. Daniel, who played titular character Harry, wrote an essay declaring that "transgender women are women" and apologised if Rowling's comments had "tarnished" the fandom's view of the franchise.

Emma (Hermione Granger) also shared her support, and tweeted: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are." She also revealed that she had donated to trans charities Mermaids and Mama Cash, encouraging others to do the same. Meanwhile, Rupert (Ron Weasley) said that he "firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers".

Despite this, some fans are criticising Daniel, Emma and Rupert's involvement in the Harry Potter reunion. Some believe that even though J.K. Rowling is not involved in the HBO Max event, it will still give her more money and publicity.

What do you think? Tweet us @popbuzz and let us know!

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