J.K. Rowling Claims Her Statements on Transgender Women Are 'Profoundly' Misunderstood

J.K. Rowling previously sparked controversy over comments about transgender women. Now, she claims her statements have been "profoundly" misunderstood. Deadline reports that the Harry Potter author's perspective will be told in The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, a new podcast coming soon to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other audio platforms.

"I never set out to upset anyone. However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal," Rowling says in a trailer for the new podcast. The author also discusses the online backlash to her comments, stating that many upset Harry Potter fans told her, "You've ruined your legacy. Oh, you could have been beloved forever, but you chose to say this." Her response: "You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly." Notably, The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling is being hosted by former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper. The podcast is set to premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Rowling has been accused of being part of the TERF movement (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), based on statements when made about "people who menstruate," and affirming a position that if "sex [gender] isn't real, the lived reality of women globally is erased." Her 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. In response to Rowling's position, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe issued a statement showing support for the trans community. 

"Transgender women are women," he wrote. "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 [Rowling] or I. It's clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm." Notably, Radcliffe is not the only Harry Potter actor to address the situation. 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.