‘You can hugely respect someone but still disagree with them’: Rupert Grint details why he needed to defend the transgender community following J.K. Rowling’s controversial comments
Rupert Grint has admitted that he felt he needed to stand up for transgender people after J.K. Rowling became embroiled in a bitter row last year.
The actor, 32, who is best known for playing Ron Weasley in the film series based on Rowling’s Harry Potter books, released a statement following intense backlash from the transgender community against the acclaimed author in June.
He explained his decision to voice his opposition to Rowling’s comments saying that while he has a ‘huge respect’ for the author, he can still disagree with her views.
Speaking out: Rupert Grint, 32, has admitted that he felt he needed to stand up for trans people after J.K. Rowling became embroiled in a transgender row last year (pictured in 2019)
Rupert admitted that while he was ‘not an authority’ on the debate, he felt he had a responsibility to speak out in support of the trans community as ‘silence is louder’.
Speaking to Esquire, he said: ‘I am hugely grateful [for] everything that she’s done. I think that she’s extremely talented, and I mean, clearly, her works are genius.’
Elaborating on his reasoning, he went on: ‘But yeah, I think also you can have huge respect for someone and still disagree with things like that…
‘Sometimes silence is even louder. I felt like I had to because I think it was important to. I mean, I don’t want to talk about all that… Generally, I’m not an authority on the subject.
Controversy: The actor, 32, explained his decision to voice his opposition to Rowling saying that while he has a ‘huge respect’ for her, he can still disagree with her views (pictured in 2018)
‘Just out of kindness, and just respecting people. I think it’s a valuable group that I think needs standing up for.’
J.K. Rowling, 55, was accused of transphobia in June last year after she took issue with an online article about ‘people who menstruate’.
She tweeted to her 14.5m followers: ‘I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
Backlash: J.K. Rowling, 55, was accused of transphobia in June last year after she took issue with an online article about ‘people who menstruate’
The acclaimed novelist sparked fury among fellow social media users and was hit by what she described as ‘relentless attacks’ following the tweet.
She then penned a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing she was sexually assaulted in her 20s and saying she still feels the scars of ‘domestic violence’ in her first marriage.
Shockingly, a hashtag calling for the author’s death was the number one trending tag on Twitter in October last year.
Personal: She then penned a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing she was sexually assaulted in her 20s and saying she still feels the scars of ‘domestic violence’ in her first marriage (pictured with her first husband and daughter Jessica who is now 26)
Rupert added to the backlash against the author as he joined co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in speaking out in support of transgender people.
In a statement to The Times, Rupert said: ‘I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men.
‘We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgement.’
Daniel, 31, who played titular hero Harry, said in a statement to the Trevor Project: ‘Transgender women are women.
‘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.’
Career: Rupert added to the backlash against the author as he joined co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in speaking out in support of transgender people (pictured in 2001)
And Emma, 30, who starred as Hermione Granger, 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.
‘I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.’
Despite swathes of Harry Potter stars criticising the author, Ralph Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort in the film series, recently came to her defense.
The 58-year-old actor openly showed his support to Rowling in an interview with the Telegraph on Wednesday.
Different view: Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes, 58, (pictured), recently came to her defence, calling the ‘level of hatred’ directed at the author ‘disturbing’
Ralph said he ‘didn’t understand the vitriol’ against her, and that the ‘hatred’ that people have of someone who expresses a different view to them is alarming.
‘I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her’, he said, adding that while he can appreciate why people feel strongly about the matter, he finds the widespread vilification of the author ‘irrational’.
He went on: ‘I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.’
Ralph portrayed Lord Voldemort in the successful film franchise, with his first appearance as the character in the fourth movie in 2005.
Actor: Ralph portrayed Lord Voldemort in the film franchise, with his first appearance as the character in the fourth movie in 2005. Pictured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
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