Harry Potter actor Robbie Coltrane is speaking out in support of J.K. Rowling as she faces continued accusations of transphobia. Speaking with Radio Times amid renewed criticism, Coltrane, who portrayed Hagrid in the film adaptations of Rowling's beloved books, defended Rowling, suggesting that her critics "wait around to be offended."
Addressing the controversy, which was initially sparked by Rowling's comments on the transgender community and transgender rights, Coltrane said that he doesn't "think what she said was offensive really." According to Huffington Post, the actor explained that "there's a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended," posing the question, "they wouldn't have won the war, would they?"
Although he admitted "that's me talking like a grumpy old man," he doubled down on his viewpoint, stating, "but you just think, 'Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.'" Coltrane, however, declined to speak further on the topic, as he does not "want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that s—, which I don't need at my time of life."
Rowling's comments on gender identity were brought back into discussion this week after the reviews for her upcoming book, Troubled Blood, began rolling in. The book's plot centers on a cisgender male serial killer who dresses like a woman to murder his female victims. For many, the plot is just another example of transphobia, with many pointing to Rowling's past transphobic remarks.
Responding to an article titled "Creating a More Equal Post-COVID-19 World for People Who Menstruate" in June, the author criticized the article for not referring to those who experience periods as "women." In a series of tweets, she went on to suggest that talking about gender identity "erases" the "lived reality" of women and argued that "it isn't hate to speak the truth." Her tweets were widely criticized as transphobic. Prior to that, in December of 2019, Rowling had faced backlash after she voiced her support for Maya Forstater, a researcher who was fired from her job after writing that a person couldn't change their biological sex.
Despite the criticism and accusations, Rowling has continuously denied that she is transphobic, though her controversial remarks have prompted multiple members of the Harry Potter cast to speak out against her. Following her June remarks, Daniel Radcliffe penned an emotional statement shared by The Trevor Project, in which he declared that "transgender women are women" and said he felt "compelled" to respond to Rowling, who is "unquestionably responsible" for his career.