Rupert Grint has opened up about his decision to condemn J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments.
In an interview with Esquire, star of the Harry Potter films declared that “silence” in response to the author’s controversial 2020 essay — in which she likened trans people to “predators” — simply wasn’t an option.
“Sometimes silence is even louder. I felt like I had to because I think it was important to. I mean, I don’t want to talk about all that… Generally, I’m not an authority on the subject,” he said, adding, “Just out of kindness, and just respecting people. I think it’s a valuable group that I think needs standing up for.”
Grint clarified to Esquire that he is “hugely grateful” to Rowling; after all, the film adaptations of her bestselling books made him an international star at a young age. He currently stars in an M. Night Shyamalan series for Apple TV+, Servant. However, he said, “I think also you can have huge respect for someone and still disagree with things like that.”
In June 2020, following Rowling’s screed, Grint followed his Harry Potter franchise costars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in releasing condemning statements. “I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers. Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment,” he declared in the statement, which was published in London paper The Sunday Times.
Rowling’s transphobia has sparked a reckoning in the Potter world; even an upcoming video game instituted transgender-inclusive character creation in response to it. But not every Hogwarts graduate has followed suit. Last weekend, Ralph Fiennes, who played Voldemort in the films, defended Rowling in an interview with The Telegraph.
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” Fiennes said. “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.”