Eddie Redmayne Calls Out ‘Vitriol’ Against JK Rowling After Author’s Transgender Comments: ‘Absolutely Disgusting’

“Fantastic Beasts” actor also condemns “hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people”

Last Updated: September 28, 2020 @ 8:21 PM

Eddie Redmayne defended J.K. Rowling after the author was slammed in recent months following her comments about transgender people, but he added that he disagreed with her on the issue.

In an interview with the Daily Mail in support of his latest film, Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” the Oscar winner was asked about his thoughts on the “Harry Potter” author’s comments against trans individuals. Rowling was condemned by trans activists after she voiced concern over trans women being allowed access to single-sex spaces earlier this year and faced a new wave of backlash this month after her latest book, “Troubled Blood,” based its plot around a doctor believed to have been murdered by a cross-dressing man.

Redmayne said that he strongly disagreed with Rowling’s views, saying that trans people are “having their human rights challenged around the world and facing discrimination on a daily basis.” However, he also called the “vitriol” against Rowling “absolutely disgusting” and said he sent out a personal note of support to her.

“There continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating,” Redmayne said.

After winning an Oscar for his performance as Dr. Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” Redmayne earned his second Oscar nomination for his work in “The Danish Girl” as Lili Elbe, a trans painter who in 1930 became one of the first people ever to have sex reassignment surgery. While his performance was praised by many cis critics, trans critics and groups condemned the film, with trans writer Carol Grant describing it in an IndieWire review as a film that is “regressive, reductive, and contributes to harmful stereotypes.”

While “Fantastic Beasts 3” has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic for six months, production resumed this past week as Warner Bros. currently plans to release the film in November 2021. Redmayne plays the series’ protagonist, magical biologist Newt Scamander, while Rowling is credited as a screenwriter for the film, which is intended to be the third in a series of five films that serve in part as a prequel series to the “Harry Potter” saga.

The first “Fantastic Beasts” film grossed $812 million back in 2016, but its 2018 sequel, “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” saw a near 20% with a $654.8 million global gross, well below the box office totals of any of the “Potter” films.