Ralph Fiennes, star of the Harry Potter films, defends J.K. Rowling once more. Fiennes played Lord Voldemort in four Harry Potter films, first appearing in 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fiennes also participated in the 20th anniversary special Return to Hogwarts, which aired on HBO Max earlier this year. Rowling did not present in the 20th anniversary special, alleging that she was asked but declined since she felt the occasion was more about the movies than the novels.

Despite being a beloved author for decades as a result of her work on the Harry Potter series, Rowling has been embroiled in controversy in recent years. Most prominent is Rowling’s anti-transgender language, in which she has made statements criticizing the phrase “those who menstruate” and even published a long blog post-essay about her controversial views on the transgender population. Despite the backlash, Rowling has not formally apologized and has instead reaffirmed her beliefs. At the time, Fiennes defended Rowling, saying that the hostility directed at her was “disturbing,” and that people should be able to debate opposing viewpoints in a more peaceful manner.

In a new interview with the New York Times, Fiennes reiterated his support for Rowling. Fiennes first stated that the Harry Potter series has “wonderful works about empowerment,” with themes based on “how you become a better, stronger, more morally grounded human being.” With that, he reaffirmed his prior remark, calling Rowling’s “verbal assault” “disgusting” and “appalling.” Check out Fiennes’ complete comment below:

“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings. It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being. The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling. I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”

What the Harry Potter Members Of the cast Have said About the Rowling Issue

Ralph Fiennes Once Again Defends Rowling's Statement About Trans Women
Harry Potter

While Fiennes remains steadfast in his support for Rowling and is outraged by the caustic criticism (which has included death threats, albeit most have been directed towards transgender people), he appears to belong to the minority among the Harry Potter cast and crew. While few have overtly condemned Rowling, several former Harry Potter performers have taken to social media to express their support for the transgender community, refuting Rowling’s allegations. Daniel Radcliffe expressed to fans at the moment that he hopes people who treasured the books will not forget the impact they made on them. Some performers have taken a more aggressive stance, such as Miriam Margoyles, who labeled Rowling’s beliefs “fascist.”

With his most recent statement, Fiennes adds gasoline to the fire in the controversy over Rowling’s opinions. He is not alone in his opinion, as Hagrid star Robbie Coltrane also has spoken out in support of Rowling. With so many people opposing her anti-trans views and other problematic activities, such as rewriting the Harry Potter canon retrospectively and backing anti-trans legislation, Fiennes’ perspective cannot influence the masses, who realize the harm in Rowling’s words. Many people have canceled Rowling’s appearance. With such a big number of people criticising Rowling, it will be interesting to see how people react to Fiennes’ latest remarks regarding the Harry Potter author.

Source: The New York Times