Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them star Eddie Redmayne has said he disagrees with author JK Rowling’s comments about transgender people.
The actor, who played the lead role of Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter prequel spin-off franchise, released a statement in response to tweets posted by Rowling which have led to allegations of transphobia.
Redmayne, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2016 for his portrayal of transgender artist Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, follows Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe in speaking out against the author’s remarks.
“Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself,” Redmayne said. “This is an ongoing process.
“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 non-binary identities are valid.
“I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse.
“They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
Rowling came under fire after taking issue with a headline on an online article discussing “people who menstruate,” tweeting: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.”
Many people have criticised the writer for appearing to define a woman as someone who has a menstrual period, and accused her of making “anti-trans comments” – which she strongly denied as “nonsense”.
In a blog post for the LGBT suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project, Radcliffe said he hoped her remarks had not “tarnished or diminished” fans’ experience of her beloved books.
While Rowling “is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken… as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment”, he said.
Radcliffe continued: “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.”
Defending her tweet, Rowling said: “I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
It is not the first time the author has been accused of being transphobic, after voicing her support for a researcher who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.