Harry Melling is the latest Harry Potter star to wade in on the J.K. Rowling debate.
The Pale Blue Eye actor, who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films, was speaking with The Independent, when he declared that, while he doesn’t see himself as the “correct spokesperson” on the topic of trans rights, he does think the debate is “very simple.”
“I can only speak for myself, and what I feel, to me, is very simple, which is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men. Every single person has the right to choose who they are and to identify themselves as what’s true to themselves,” he said.
“I don’t want to join the debate of pointing fingers and saying, ‘That’s right, that’s wrong,’ because I don’t think I’m the correct spokesperson for that,” added Melling. “But I do believe that everybody has the right to choose.”
Melling joins fellow Potter actors Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – who have each spoken out against Rowling’s persistent Twitter posts targeting the transgender community.
Radcliffe said in a piece for The Trevor Project, the LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention charity:
“While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored 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”.
“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,” Radcliffe wrote at the time.
Emma Watson reportedly went on record in 2022, saying that she would only be involved in future Harry Potter projects if JK Rowling was not.
The actress was subsequently subjected to weeks of trolling and ‘misogynistic’ abuse from TERF and anti-trans accounts on Twitter.
Brilliantly, Watson’s response was simply to say nothing and then sit front row with trans Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer at Paris Fashion week.
Elsewhere Pottermore, the global digital publisher for J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, saw profits drop by 40% last year following an increase during lockdown.
The Bookseller reports that pre-tax profits dropped 40% to £5.7m in the 12 months to 31st March 2022, compared to £9.5m in the previous year. Revenues also “softened”, dropping 6.4% to £37.8m from £40.4m in 2021, reflecting what the company describes as “the unwinding of the Covid sales bounce during lockdown”.
After “exceptional” 2021 results, Pottermore, the global digital publisher for J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, saw profits drop by 40% last year.
— The Bookseller (@thebookseller) January 3, 2023
Many social media users and fans of the franchise have posted about boycotting Harry Potter related products with ties to the author. While others have turned their back on anything related to the franchise at all.
Expect to be seen as a huge red flag to LGBTQ+ people in 2023 if you’re still calling yourself a devout “Harry Potter fan.”
There is no separation between Potter and JK Rowling; she benefits from your consumption of the brand and then brags about it: pic.twitter.com/Bn6R73Hwsu
— WizardingNews@mastodon.social (@HPANA) December 19, 2022