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Harry Potter star doubles down on defence of JK Rowling

Imogen Donovan

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| Last updated 

Harry Potter star doubles down on defence of JK Rowling

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros., Daniel Ogren via Wikimedia Commons

The politics of author J. K. Rowling, famed for the Harry Potter series, have been a determining factor on whether or not fans have felt happy to support Hogwarts Legacy.

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This is a content warning for mentions of sexual assault.

In 2020, Rowling was criticised significantly for ridiculing the use of the term "people who menstruate" rather than "women" in reference to those at risk of health complications in the coronavirus crisis. Responding to those who had taken offence, she stated in an essay that she had suffered domestic violence and sexual assault and that the impact of these on her outlook led to her anxieties over transgender activism. "When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman ... then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside," she said.

Since then, Rowling has stuck to her guns, describing transitioning as a "new form of conversion therapy for young gay people" and expressing sympathy towards anti-trans, anti-gay and anti-abortion activist Caroline Farrow who had been harassed by transgender people and their allies.

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Actors from the Harry Potter films, like Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, have been vocally supportive of transgender identities and opposed Rowling's opinions. Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, was one of them too but according to a recent interview with The Telegraph, she said she was "dragged" into that debate.

"I didn’t even know there were two sides. I had a view of, like, good and bad. I do have compassion for both sides of the argument. I know what it was like to be a teenager who hated my body so much I wanted to crawl out of my skin, so I have great compassion for trans people and I don’t want to add to their pain," replied Lynch.

At 11 years old, Lynch was struggling with a severe eating disorder and housed in a residential clinic when she wrote a letter to Rowling. The books had offered her an "entrancing" escape from reality, as well as an outlet for her mental state with the author, and she scored the role of the strange and charming Ravenclaw student over countless other actresses.

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"I understand being too triggered to be able to have a conversation," she conceded. "If you put me in a room with one of my doctors who treated me in the past, ooh, I’d kick off. Like, I would want to scream and yell names.

"I do also think it’s important that JK Rowling has been amplifying the voices of detransitioners," continued Lynch. "I had this impulse to go, ‘Let’s all just stop talking about it’, and I think probably I’m a bit braver now about having uncomfortable conversations."

Topics: Harry Potter, Warner Bros

Imogen Donovan
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