Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes ‘can’t understand the level of hatred’ against JK Rowling

Josh Milton March 17, 2021
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Headshot of Ralph Fiennes wearing a blue shirt and blazer

Ralph Fiennes. (Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images)

Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes says he “can’t understand” the “level of hatred” directed towards JK Rowling over her views on trans rights.

The British actor, who played Lord Voldemort in the beloved movie franchise, told The Telegraph newspaper that he finds the backlash the author has faced “disturbing”.

“I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing,” the 58-year-old said.

“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” he added, describing the response to her repeated comments on trans rights as “irrational”.

Rowling has fielded a firestorm of criticism for her thoughts on trans rights for years, a backlash she and her representatives have sought to deny and downplay.

A flashpoint came in 2020 when Rowling launched into a string of tweets that decried trans-inclusive language, followed swiftly by a dense essay outlining her opinions on sex and gender.

Pride in Publishing hits back at Hachette’s support of JK Rowling
JK Rowling. (Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty)

In sharing her takes on trans healthcare and gender recognition law in Britain in particular, she was seen to have peddled debunked and misleading claims.

The holy trinity of Harry Potter stars – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – all came out swinging for trans rights shortly after.

Concerns over Rowling’s opinions were first sown in 2018 when she “liked” a tweet that referred to trans women as “men in dresses”.

Rowling’s representatives attempted to add sweeteners to the controversy by saying this was simply a “middle-aged moment”.

In the years since Rowling’s engagement with trans rights has steadily rocked. From tweets to blog posts, her comments have nettled LGBT+ people and prompted a reckoning of sorts among queer Harry Potter fans.

Top activists have branded Rowling a “threat” to the community, while a queer rights watchdog said her comments have caused “significant damage” to Britain.

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