JK Rowling defended by Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes: ‘I understand where she’s coming from’

Two pictures show JK Rowling at a launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Ralph Fiennes at a film festival on the right.

Ralph Fiennes has said the “verbal abuse” directed at JK Rowling over her anti-trans views is “disgusting”.

Fiennes, who famously played Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films, jumped to the author’s defence in an interview with The New York Times.

“JK Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings,” Fiennes said.

“It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centred 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, uber-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel like I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.'”

Fiennes added: “And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”

JK Rowling has faced backlash over trans views

JK Rowling has been both condemned and defended by those who starred in her Harry Potter series ever since she made her views on trans issues public.

JK Rowling arrives at the "Fantastic Beasts: The Secret of Dumbledore" world premiere

JK Rowling has emerged as one of the most vocal “gender critical” figures in the UK. (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty)

The controversy started when she mocked the use of inclusive language on social media. Rowling later detailed her views in greater depth in a lengthy, wide-ranging essay published on her own website.

In that essay, Rowling said she might have “tried to transition” if she was a teenager today because “the allure of escaping womanhood would have been huge”.

Since then, Rowling has used her platform to hit out at trans youth charity Mermaids. Most recently, she had a row with Billy Bragg when she accused him of supporting “rape threats” over his support for Graham Norton.

Shortly after Rowling published her essay on trans issues, Harry Potter stars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe publicly spoke out in support of the trans community, whereas older actors from the series, Jason Isaacs and the late Robbie Coltrane, defended her.

In 2021, JK Rowling and her repeated commentary about trans people was cited as one of many reasons why the UK was becoming a more hostile place for LGBTQ+ people by international LGBTQ+ rights group ILGA-Europe.

JK Rowling has repeatedly denied she is transphobic.