Daniel Radcliffe responds for first time since JK Rowling told him and Emma Watson to ‘save their apologies

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The star of the Harry Potter series has broken his silence on the author’s latest online rant

Daniel Radcliffe has finally broken his silence following the row between stars of the Harry Potter franchise and JK Rowling over the author’s controversial views on transgender rights.

The actor, 34, last addressed the writer’s problematic remarks regarding the community in 2020, when he apologised for the ‘pain’ her words had caused before also penning an essay for LGBTQ+ organization, The Trevor Project.

Radcliffe, alongside his co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, spoke out in support of trans people after Rowling shared a link to an article titled ‘Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate’ in June of that year.

He wrote in his essay for The Trevor Project: “Transgender women are women.

“Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.”

But in April, three years after the original online spat, Rowling reignited the war of words after telling social media users that the Harry Potter stars should ‘save their apologies’.

Daniel Radcliffe spoke out in defence of the transgender community. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Roku Channel)

Daniel Radcliffe spoke out in defence of the transgender community. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The Roku Channel)

The author, 58, told fans that she wasn’t interested in burying the hatchet and slammed celebrities who ‘cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights’.

It came after Rowling shared her reaction to the release of an independent review of the NHS‘ gender identity services for children and youngsters in the UK, which was conducted over four years by Dr. Hilary Cass.

But while detailing her anger at the varying responses to the review, she ended up discussing her now non-existent relationships with the stars of the Harry Potter series.

Radcliffe has now responded to Rowling’s recent rant for the first time in a new interview with The Atlantic.

Radcliffe said the whole saga 'made him really sad'. (Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Radcliffe said the whole saga ‘made him really sad’. (Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

He explained that the entire saga ‘makes him really sad’ and discussed the difficulty he’d faced while coming to terms with the fact that the woman who’d arguably made him famous has such controversial views towards the trans community.

The Woman In Black star also revealed that he has not spoken to Rowling in several years.

Radcliffe said: “It makes me really sad, ultimately, because I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic.

“Jo, obviously Harry Potter would not have happened without her, so nothing in my life would have probably happened the way it is without that person.

“But that doesn’t mean that you owe the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life.”

What the other Harry Potter stars have said about JK Rowling and her comments on the trans community

Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint said he 'firmly stood' with the trans community. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Rupert Grint said he ‘firmly stood’ with the trans community. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The Ron actor said in a statement in 2020: “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.”

In an interview with the Times two years later, he added, “I liken JK Rowling to an auntie. I don’t necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she’s still my auntie. It’s a tricky one.”

Ralph Fiennes

Ralph Fiennes said the 'verbal abuse' directed at Rowling was 'disgusting'. (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

Ralph Fiennes said the ‘verbal abuse’ directed at Rowling was ‘disgusting’. (Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)

The Voldemort actor told The New York Times in 2022: “The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling.

“I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, uber-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.'”

Harry Melling

Harry Melling said 'transgender women are women and transgender men are men'. (Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)

Harry Melling said ‘transgender women are women and transgender men are men’. (Lia Toby/Getty Images for BFI)

Melling, who played Dudley Dursley, told the Independent in 2022: “I can only speak for myself, and what I feel, to me, is very simple, which is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men.”

Evanna Lynch

Evanna Lynch said she hoped people would give 'more grace' to Rowling. (Jun Sato/WireImage)

Evanna Lynch said she hoped people would give ‘more grace’ to Rowling. (Jun Sato/WireImage)

Lynch played Luna Lovegood in the films and told the Telegraph: “I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there’s a disagreement over who’s the most vulnerable.

“I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her.”

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