Actor Ralph Fiennes is the latest actor from the Harry Potter films to jump into the fire surrounding author J.K. Rowling and her stance on transgender rights. In an interview with The Telegraph, the actor came out in defense of the author whose books (and subsequent films) helped put his noseless face into the nightmares of countless children over the last two decades.
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” Fiennes said. “I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”
Rowling has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons since at least June of last year, when she commented on a story that referred to “people who menstruate,” a description meant to include not just people who were born and identify as women but also people who do not identify as women but still experience those functions. Amid backlash for the comments, Rowling doubled down with an essay that simultaneously acknowledged the heightened risk that trans people experience while also suggesting that enough of them could be predators that they shouldn’t be allowed into single-sex spaces for women.
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