Harry Potter actor Chris Rankin has branded JK Rowling’s trans comments ‘damaging’ ahead of the 20th-anniversary reunion.
The 38-year-old, who portrayed Percy Weasley in the film franchise, said it is ‘important’ to highlight the fact that ‘when a trans person says they are male or female, that is what they are’.
He told Eastern Daily Press: “I do a lot of work with charities that are LGBTQ+ focused and I raise money for the Albert Kennedy Trust on a regular basis.
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“A lot of my family are members of the community. It is a huge part of my life and I think, by saying that, you can probably guess where my allegiances lie in that respect.”
He added: “What is important to highlight is that, when a trans person says they are male or female, that is what they are and that is how we should treat them.
“It is damaging to them to say otherwise.”
He is not the first cast member to address Rowling’s controversial comments.
Daniel Radcliffe released a statement through The Trevor Project in June 2020, explaining how he felt ‘compelled to say something’.
It read: “I realise that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between JK Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what’s important right now.
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honoured to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.
“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.”
He added: “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.
“If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred. And in my opinion, nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much.”
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