Harry Potter star Chris Rankin has become the franchise’s latest star to slam J. K. Rowling by branding her transgender views ‘damaging’.
The actor, who played Percy Weasley in six of the eight films about the boy wizard, said: ‘I do a lot of work with charities that are LGBTQ+ focused.
‘A lot of my family are members of the community. You can probably guess where my allegiances lie in that respect.’
He added: ‘When a trans person says they are male or female, that is what they are and that is how we should treat them. It is damaging to them to say otherwise.’
Rowling, 56, has faced accusations of transphobia after she mocked an online article in June 2020 which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’.
She later defended herself against the claims in a passionate essay but has continued to face criticism.
Harry Potter actors Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, who stars in her Fantastic Beasts films, have previously criticised the author for her remarks.
Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in six of the eight films about the boy wizard, said: ‘I do a lot of work with charities that are LGBTQ+ focused’
J. K. Rowling, 56, has faced accusations of transphobia after she mocked an online article in June 2020 which used the words ‘people who menstruate’ instead of ‘women’
Rowling has stressed the importance of biology, saying: ‘I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives.’
Rankin sent a letter asking to audition for the role of Percy Weasley at the age of 16 and went on to play the part for 11 years.
Described on his website as a ‘vocal ally to the LGBTQ+ community’, Rankin has hosted at Pride Cymru for two years in a row and collaborated with performers including Courtney Act and Bang Bang Romeo.
Alongside his partner Ness, the actor has formed the House of ChrisNess – a virtual community which helps to raise money for LGTBQ charities.
His latest comments follow the row over the writer criticising Police Scotland for saying it will record rapes by offenders with a penis as being committed by a woman if the attacker ‘identifies as a female’.
Rowling responded to Police Scotland, tweeting: ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.’
Rankin pictured back, second from left, wearing a green tie in the Harry Potter films. Actors Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne, who stars in her Fantastic Beasts films, have previously criticised the author for her remarks
Her comments were a nod to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four – a dystopian novel about a regime that manages to invert the truth to control its people.
In September 2020, she faced renewed calls of transphobia after it was revealed the the villain in her latest book, Troubled Blood – written under Rowling’s pseudonym Robert Galbraith – is a male serial killer who dresses as a woman to slay his victims.
An early review of the 900-page book by The Daily Telegraph – in which the critic states the book’s ‘moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress’ – sparked immediate backlash online.
And in March, Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the beloved film series admitted that he felt he needed to stand up for transgender people following Rowling’s remarks.
He said that while he was ‘not an authority’ on the debate, he felt he had a responsibility to speak out in support of the trans community as ‘silence is louder’.