For the last few years, alumni of the Harry Potter films have had to do a tricky dance. On one hand, some of them owe their careers to the world created by author J.K. Rowling. On the other, they feel the need to distance themselves from her loud anti-trans beliefs. Among those is Daniel Radcliffe, who penned an open letter about Rowling at the height of the backlash against her. Now, as Rowling has refused to back down, he’s reiterated that stance.
“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing ‘Potter,’ I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” Radcliffe told IndieWire in a recent interview. “And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”
Radcliffe’s letter ran on the site for the Trevor Project, which runs the largest suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ+ youth. “Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”
In the new interview, Radcliffe reflected on writing that letter. “It was really important as I’ve worked with the Trevor Project for more than 10 years, and so I don’t think I would’ve been able to look myself in the mirror had I not said anything,” he said. “But it’s not mine to guess what’s going on in someone else’s head.”
Through Rowling has never apologized for her beliefs — quite the contrary — she hasn’t been ghosted by Warner Bros. Discovery, which produces and distributes films in the Harry Potter-verse. Over the summer, they even announced they remained happy to work with her.
Radcliffe, meanwhile, has moved on, with no interest in returning to the role that made him a household name. Instead, he’s doing what he wants, namely playing Weird “Al” Yankovic.