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Miriam Margolyes defends JK Rowling from ‘misplaced’ criticism: ‘She’s a generous woman’

Josh Milton April 19, 2022
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Miriam Margolyes standing in front of a yellow van

Miriam Margolyes has defended JK Rowling. (Simon Schluter/Fairfax Media via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Harry Potter star Miriam Margolyes has defended JK Rowling over the “misplaced” criticism she has faced for her “gender-critical” views.

Saying she “admires” Rowling as a “human being”, the British-Australian actor offered to mediate between the author and Emma Watson.

In a new interview with the Radio Times, the 80-year-old who played the eccentric Professor Pomona Sprout in the Harry Potter films said that though she believes that gender is a spectrum, Rowling is a “generous woman”.

“There is a spectrum and people can be anywhere along that,” she explained. “There isn’t one answer to all these trans questions.

“I think the vituperation that JK Rowling has received is misplaced. I don’t know her at all. I admire her as a human being.

“She’s a generous woman, she’s a brilliant writer.”

Rowling, whose publicist once excused her liking an anti-trans tweet as a “middle-aged moment“, has now embraced such attitudes.

She has mocked a British police force carrying out LGBT+ outreach following a brutal homophobic murder, offered her “big love” to an anti-LGBT+ activist and enjoyed a boozy brunch with anti-trans campaigners while thousands protested for trans equality in London.

Protesters hold signs calling out JK. Rowling's twitter comments
Protesters hold signs calling out JK. Rowling’s Twitter comments as they take part in a Harry Potter-themed rally in front of the Democracy Monument on August 3, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images)

Miriam Margolyes stressed that if people were kinder to others, “a lot of misery would disappear”.

She added that she would happily mediate between Rowling and Harry Potter star Watson, who has emphatically spoken out for trans rights.

“I would if anybody asked me,” Margolyes said.

Watson, who played the bookish Hermione Granger in the films, is among countless Harry Potter actors who have come out swinging for trans rights in the wake of Rowling’s remarks.

She was only recently praised by LGBT+ people as an “example of true feminism” after an interview with her and trans journalist Paris Lees resurfaced earlier this month. Trans folks are “human beings”, she said.

While presenting a prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs) last month, Watson said she is “here for all the witches”. Her fans took her statement as a “giant dig” against Rowling.

In 2020, the Scottish writer published a lengthy essay outlining her alarming stance on trans rights.

Days later, Watson took to Twitter and announced she had donated to Mermaids, a charity that supports trans youth.

“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 tweeted.

“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.”

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