JK Rowling’s Anti-Trans Campaign Extends to Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe: They ‘Can Save Their Apologies’

The “Harry Potter” author disagrees pretty angrily with the stars of the films based on her books

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling at The Secrets of Dumbledore premiere (Photo Credit: Getty Collection)

“Harry Potter” author JK Rowling’s long-running campaign against trans rights took an unexpected turn on Wednesday, as the billionaire blasted Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson for their support of trans people.

Rowling accused them of being part of a movement that is “eroding women’s hard-won rights,” said they “cheered on” gender treatment for minors (which she opposes), and said they “can save their apologies,” should they attempt to make any.

It’s a complicated situation but briefly, what set this in motion was the publication of a study in the United Kingdom this week, known as the Cass Review, which examined how gender-related medicine is applied to children. The study claims that the science behind gender medicine as it applies to younger people is on “shaky foundations.”

The study doesn’t recommend against treating children with gender dysmorphia on principle, but it argued there is a lack of good data backing up current protocols. “Filling this knowledge gap would be of great help to the young people wanting to make informed choices about their treatment,” it says in part.

Ultimately the study says “there is insufficient and/or inconsistent evidence about the risks and benefits of hormone interventions in this population,” and urges more studies be conducted. It does not question treatment of trans adults; despite this, in response to the study the NHS says it will now review all transgender treatment. (Here is a decent breakdown of the strengths and weaknesses in the report.)

Anti-trans activists particularly among the far right in the United Kingdom celebrated the study as a considerable victory. So it is that Wednesday morning on the social media site formerly known as Twitter, Rowling threaded a lengthy commentary on the report in which , essentially, she treated it as vindication for her views on the subject.

In addition to celebrating its conclusions — while also overstating them — Rowling complained at length about the criticism she’s received for her views on trans people, and accused those who don’t share her views of “cheerleading” what she called “medical malpractice” and implied was child abuse.

One person replied to Rowling’s thread, saying, “Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology … safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them.”

“Not safe, I’m afraid. Celebs who cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights and who used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors can save their apologies for traumatised detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single sex spaces,” Rowling replied.

Radcliffe and Watson have avoided publicly fighting with Rowling over the issue, but in 2019 and 2020, when Rowling became particularly outspoken, they both spoke out in strong support of trans rights and trans people.

In 2019, Watson expressed support for Trans rights in a Vogue interview but did not mention Rowling.

Radcliffe wrote an essay in support of transgender people in which he insisted he wasn’t trying to fight with Rowling and didn’t want to make it about that. He expressed full support for trans rights, condemned bigotry against them, and to trans “Harry Potter” fans who might be dismayed by Rowling’s views, he said “I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”

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