Ralph Fiennes ‘Can’t Understand The Vitriol’ Directed At J.K. Rowling After Transgender Comments

J.K. Rowling has found an unlikely ally as she continues to face backlash for her controversial comments about transgender people—Lord Voldemort himself.

Well, not exactly—Ralph Fiennes, who played the iconic villain in the “Harry Potter” films, is speaking up about the author in a new interview.

“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” he told The Telegraph. “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.”

In 2020, Rowling made headlines when she responded to a headline that used the phrase “people who menstruate,” writing, “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” Many called Rowling’s words transphobic and pointed out that transgender, non-binary and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate.

Rowling followed up with a lengthy essay on her website detailing her “five reasons for being worried about the new trans activism.”

Many ”Harry Potter” stars have spoken out against the author, including Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe. In a statement last June, he acknowledged Rowling’s impact on his life while condemning her comments, writing, “While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.”

Rupert Grint, J.K. Rowling, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe hit the red carpet at the world premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ in London on July 7, 2009

“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” he continued. “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you…It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and “Fantastic Beasts” actor Eddie Redmayne have also slammed Rowling’s comments. Still, Fiennes isn’t alone in his defense of the writer. Robbie Coltrane, who portrayed Hagrid in the series, said in September 2020, “I don’t think what she said was offensive really.”

“I don’t know why, but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended,” he continued. “They wouldn’t have won the war, would they?”

— by Katcy Stephan

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