Eddie Redmayne Condemns Social Media 'Vitriol' Aimed at J.K. Rowling Over Her Trans Comments
The bestselling Harry Potter author, 55, came under fire in June when she appeared to support anti-transgender sentiments in a series of tweets. Shortly after she denied her views on feminism are transphobic, she doubled down on her controversial standpoints in a lengthy essay shared on her website days later.
Redmayne, who received an Oscar nomination for playing a trans woman in 2015's The Danish Girl, originally released a statement in support of the trans community after her comments made headlines. In a new interview with The Daily Mail, Redmayne, who stars in the author's Fantastic Beasts film franchise, said he sent Rowling a private note amid the backlash, noting that he finds some of the ″vitriol″ aimed at her ″absolutely disgusting.″
Redmayne also acknowledged to The Daily Mail that his “trans friends and colleagues” are “facing discrimination on a daily basis.″
“Similarly, there continues to be a hideous torrent of abuse towards trans people online and out in the world that is devastating," Redmayne said.
In July, Redmayne issued a statement in support of the transgender community after Rowling published her lengthy essay.
“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,″ he said.
Responding to backlash back in June, Rowling wrote that she refuses to ″bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it.″
LGBTQ advocates and celebrities quickly spoke out against Rowling's comments, with GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis calling it a ″misinformed and dangerous missive about transgender people″ that ″flies in the face of medical and psychological experts and devalues trans people accounts of their own lives.″
Sarah McBride, national press secretary for the LGBTQ-rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, says comments like Rowling's can be dangerous to members of the trans community.
″To be very clear, in painting transgender people, particularly trans women, as caricatures and potentially as threats to the safety of other people, she is reinforcing the very prejudices that are at the heart of the discrimination, and oftentimes the violence, that comes to the trans community's way," McBride adds. "The United Kingdom has allowed for transgender people to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity for years. There has not been a problem. When trans people face discrimination in employment and housing and public spaces, it's discrimination that's rooted in the prejudice that transgender people are not who we say we are. And that is exactly what J.K. Rowling is reinforcing."