Harry Potter star Jim Broadbent backs JK Rowling over stance on trans rights: ‘I would support her’

Harry Potter Jim Broadbent, and Harry Potter writer JK Rowling.

Another day, and another Harry Potter star is revealing their thoughts on JK Rowling’s controversial views about trans people. This time, it’s Jim Broadbent.

The veteran actor, best known for his Oscar-winning performance as John Bayley in the 2001 film Iris, as well as for portraying Horace Slughorn in the wizard film franchise, has explained why he thinks the response to Rowling’s views is “sad”.

During an interview with The Telegraph, the 73-year-old was questioned on how he felt about Harry Potter becoming a contentious topic following the author’s repeated comments about trans people and so-called ‘gender critical’ stance.

“It’s really sad. I think  JK Rowling is amazing,” he responded, adding: “I haven’t had to confront it myself, but I would support her in that, I think, if it came to it.”

Broadbent’s comments come following intense backlash to the announcement that there is currently a Harry Potter TV series in the works at HBO, with Rowling sitting in the executive producer’s chair.

While HBO’s CEO Casey Bloys has dubbed the controversy surrounding Rowling’s involvement as a “very online conversation”, many former fans of the film franchise have threatened to boycott the TV reboot, owing both to Rowling’s views and the sense among many that a remake simply isn’t needed.

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Rowling herself, though, has responded to those threatening to shun the series by suggesting that she has “taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne”.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling in front of trans Pride flag colours
JK Rowling will serve as an executive producer on Max’s new Harry Potter TV series. (Getty)

“Dreadful news, which I feel duty bound to share. Activists in my mentions are trying to organise yet another boycott of my work, this time of the Harry Potter TV show,” she tweeted on 21 April. 

“As forewarned is forearmed, I’ve taken the precaution of laying in a large stock of champagne.”

Broadbent is another in a long, long line of former Harry Potter actors who have spoken out about their stance on JK Rowling and her opinions on trans people.

Most recently, Luna Lovegood star Evanna Lynch decided to praise Rowling for “amplifying the voices of detransitioners” and stated that the writer “advocates” for vulnerable people.

On the other side, Daniel Radcliffe, who played Potter himself, has vocally offered his support to the trans community, recently urging people to listen to those who have lived experience of being trans.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about a roundtable discussion he hosted with trans youth, in partnership with US LGBTQ+ charity The Trevor Project, Radcliffe affirmed that trans voices need to be heard.

“We listen to so many people talk about trans youth and hear them talked about so often in the news, but very rarely do we actually hear from these youth directly.

“It was an absolute privilege to get to meet and listen to this incredible group of young people. At the end of the day, if you’re going to talk about trans kids, it might be useful to actually listen to trans kids.”

Other Harry Potter stars including Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, and Matthew Lewis have all spoken out in defence of trans people and their right to live freely and authentically.

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