Newt Scamander is not happy.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has come under fire for another anti-transgender Twitter tirade, leaving some fans to wonder what this means for the future of the Fantastic Beasts film franchise. As NewNowNext reported earlier this week, Rowling mocked an article about menstrual health during the pandemic that used trans-inclusive language.
“’People who menstruate,’” she tweeted Saturday. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?
Opinion: Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate https://t.co/cVpZxG7gaA
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) June 6, 2020
Rowling’s rant sparked major backlash—so much so that Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe wrote a response for The Trevor Project in which he stated, “Transgender women are women.” And now, Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne has spoken out, too.
“As someone who has worked with both J.K. 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 non-binary identities are valid,” Redmayne said in a statement provided to Variety. “I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it’s time to let them do so.”
Rowling (pictured above) wrote the screenplays for the first two Fantastic Beasts movies, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, with the last one being released in 2018. Filming for the third installment began in Iceland back in March but was quickly shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The next sequel is scheduled for 2021, but it is unclear what will happen with the rest of the franchise, which Rowling has said will be a total of five movies.
Variety also spoke with members of the Harry Potter fan community about their reactions to Rowling’s transphobic remarks.
“For somebody who stood so much for equality and tolerance for so many years to actively punch down on a marginalized group—like all Harry Potter fans who feel this way, I’m just kind of devastated,” said Melissa Anelli, founder and CEO of Mischief Management, which runs the Harry Potter fan convention, LeakyCon. “Supporting a creator with this view is difficult.”
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One thing I’ve learned from the Harry Potter fandom is how to use my frustration to create something productive. So I wrote a thing about JK Rowling’s tweet. For the New York Times. Link in story. . Feels kinda weird to do something as cool as have my New York Times debut because of such a bummer of news, but hey, this is also a great time to be lifting up trans voices and giving us opportunities so… idk I’ll take it. PS – thanks for helping with all those book sales this week, JK
Jackson Bird, a popular YouTuber, wrote a memoir, Sorted, which refers to gender, labels, and the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. “You really thought I’d write a book and not mention Harry Potter?” Bird said in a YouTube video announcing the book’s release date.
“For her to decide to use her incredible platform to be very critical and hateful towards a particular group of people, it just seems an irresponsible use of the platform by one of the most influential people in the world,” Bird told Variety.