Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft addresses role in Harry Potter video game

Sebastian Croft's character Ben Hope speaking to Charlie, played by Joe Locke, in Heartstopper.

Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft has addressed his role in the controversial Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy.

Croft, who plays Ben Hope in the LGBTQ+ coming-of-age Netflix series, will voice the playable character in Hogwarts Legacy, it was announced on Wednesday (11 January).

The 21-year-old actor immediately faced backlash on social media, with fans questioning why he would sign on to the project in light of Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s views on trans people.

Croft addressed the controversy in a series of tweets on Saturday (14 January).

“I was cast in this project over three years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with,” Croft said.

“This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views.

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“I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men.”

Sebastian Croft apologises for ‘hurt’ caused by Hogwarts Legacy role

He continued: “I know far more now than I did three years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next three.

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“I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T.”

Collage of Sebastian in school uniform (from Heartstopper) and the Hogwarts castle
Sebastian Croft has been announced for the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy game (Netflix/ @HogwartsLegacy)

Fans had been disappointed to see Croft lending his voice to Hogwarts Legacy even while many queer people were planning to boycott it entirely due to JK Rowling’s views on trans people.

Rowling has campaigned tirelessly against trans inclusion in single-sex spaces, and she has emerged as one of Scotland’s most prominent opponents to gender recognition reform.

In December 2022, trans gaming journalist and video producer Jessie Earl explained why she thinks people should boycott the Hogwarts Legacy game.

Earl said she would not “begrudge anyone” enjoying past works such as Harry Potter books they already own, she said it’s “harmful” to support Hogwarts Legacy by paying for the game.

Rowling subsequently unearthed Earl’s tweet and shared a screenshot to her 14 million followers, writing: “The truly righteous wouldn’t just burn their books and movies but the local library, anything with an owl on it and their own pet dogs.”

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