Daniel Radcliffe Reaffirms LGBTQ Support, Distances Rowling's Controversial Views

Harry Potter stars clash with author over trans rights.

by Nouman Rasool
Daniel Radcliffe Reaffirms LGBTQ Support, Distances Rowling's Controversial Views
© Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Daniel Radcliffe is known as one of the most vocal supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, but recent events have shown just how much he is in conflict with J.K. Rowling over her controversial comments on transgender issues. In a wide-ranging interview with The Atlantic, Radcliffe said that he had felt much sadness about the position taken by Rowling and how softened he had been by her work and by her as an individual in the past.

Radcliffe’s reaction stems from a series of anti-transgender remarks made by Rowling, beginning notably in 2020. His response was immediate and supportive of the transgender community, as he penned a powerful essay for the Trevor Project, affirming that "transgender women are women." This act of solidarity was driven by his long-term commitment to the Trevor Project, spanning over a decade.

"It would have seemed like immense cowardice to not say something," Radcliffe remarked during the interview. His goal was clear: to support those hurt by Rowling's comments and clarify that her views do not represent the entire Harry Potter franchise.

Rowling's Sharp Critique

The discourse between Rowling and the cast members who grew up under her literary influence took a more personal turn earlier this month. Responding to a social media user who anticipated public apologies from Radcliffe and Emma Watson, Rowling criticized celebrities for endorsing what she perceives as movements that undermine women’s rights and promote the transitioning of minors.

She suggested that any apologies should be directed towards "traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single-s-x spaces." When asked to comment on Rowling’s social media statements, Radcliffe simply reiterated his commitment: “I will continue to support the rights of all LGBTQ people, and have no further comment than that”.

The actor also addressed critics who labeled him ungrateful for opposing Rowling, given her role in his career success. Radcliffe acknowledged Rowling's integral role in the creation of the Harry Potter series but maintained that personal beliefs and lifelong loyalties must be evaluated independently.

“Jo, obviously Harry Potter would not have happened without her, so nothing in my life would have probably happened the way it is without that person. But that doesn’t mean that you owe the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life,” he concluded.

Daniel Radcliffe