Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes has come to the defense of series creator J.K. Rowling, over the backlash she's received for her comments about the trans community. Fiennes — who starred as Lord Voldemort, the main antagonist in the film series — recently sat down for an interview with The Telegraph and was asked about the controversy surrounding Rowling. He replied by explaining that he does not see why she has faced such fervent criticism from those who do not agree with her.
"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." EW noted that it has reached out to Fiennes' representatives for further comment but at the time of this writing had not received a response.
Fiennes' response has been met with a lot of criticism itself, with one person tweeting, "Well, there goes the respect of another Harry Potter actor." However, some fans are not sure that his statement is actually meant to be supportive of Rowling's opinion, but rather an indictment of violent threats she's received since expressing them. "Ralph Fiennes didn’t say a right lot, he didn’t give his opinion on the topic, just that he thinks death and threats of violence are wrong," someone offered, "[and] somehow people are mad at him."
Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort) defends J.K Rowling’s transgender comments
"I can't understand the vitriol directed at her”March 17, 2021
Rowling's stance on trans women was cemented in an essay she previously wrote, wherein she made her position very clear. "I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode 'woman' as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it," Rowling wrote. The "movement" that Rowling refers to seems to be the trans rights movement.
"I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight, and trans, who're standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who're reliant on and wish to retain their single-sex spaces," she went on to write. Notably, Fiennes is not the only Harry Potter actor to address the situation. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Eddie Redmayne, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Noma Dumezweni, Chris Rankin, and Katie Leung have all spoken out by voicing support for the trans community.