Actor who played a transition pioneer in The Danish Girl says Fantastic Beasts author’s position on sex ‘erases the identity and dignity of transgender people’
JK Rowling and Eddie Redmayne together at a film premiere last December. Photograph: Startraks Photo/Rex/Shutterstock
Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne has joined Harry Potter lead actor Daniel Radcliffe in criticising JK Rowling’s recent comments about trans people.
In a statement to Variety magazine, Redmayne said: “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself.”
Redmayne, who in 2015 starred in The Danish Girl, a biopic of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, added: “As someone who has worked with both JK Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and nonbinary identities are valid.”
His comments echoed a statement released by Radcliffe responding to Rowling’s comments, in which Radcliffe said: “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.”
Last weekend Rowling had posted a series of messages on social media, saying: “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.” Rowling also denied her statements were transphobic, adding: “The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades … ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.”