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JK Rowling reignites row with Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson

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By Helen Bushby & Ian Youngs,BBC News

Getty Images JK RowlingGetty Images

JK Rowling said stars had “cosied up to a movement intent on eroding women’s hard-won rights”

Author JK Rowling has reignited a row with Harry Potter stars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe over the issue of transgender identity and rights.

The writer hit out at “celebs” who she said had “used their platforms to cheer on the transitioning of minors”.

Radcliffe and Watson are among the film’s cast members who spoke out against Rowling’s stance on gender identity in 2020.

The BBC has asked Radcliffe and Watson for responses to her latest comments.

Rowling has also welcomed a review that raised concerns about gender identity services for under-18s.

On Wednesday, the Cass Review said children had been let down by “remarkably weak” evidence on medical intervention in gender care.

Rowling described the report as “a watershed moment”.

One social media user replied to her: “Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology… safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them…”

“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 has been accused of being transphobic for her views on gender identity and for saying trans women shouldn’t be allowed into female-only spaces.

She also recently challenged police in Scotland, where she lives, to arrest her under a new hate crime law after she described several trans women as men. Police Scotland decided not to take any action.

She has denied being transphobic, previously saying she respects “every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them” and that she wants trans people to be free from discrimination and abuse.

Getty Images Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert GrintGetty Images

Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint attended a premiere in 2010

He added that he hoped the author’s comments would not “taint” the movie series for fans.

Watson said: “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.”

Eddie Redmayne, star of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on Rowling’s book, also said in 2020: “I disagree with Jo’s comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.”

Meanwhile Rupert Grint said: “I firmly stand with the trans community… Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgment.”

Ralph Fiennes, who played Potter villain Lord Voldemort, came to the author’s defence, calling the abuse she received “disgusting” and “appalling”.

Other stars including Eddie Izzard and Helena Bonham Carter, who played Bellatrix Lestrange, have also said they do not consider Rowling’s views to be transphobic, but reflective of her own experience of abuse.

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