Eddie Redmayne has spoken out in support of the transgender community, saying he disagrees with a series of controversial tweets JK Rowling posted over the weekend.
On Saturday, Rowling sparked a backlash when she commented on an article titled Creating a More Equal Post-Covid-19 World for People Who Menstruate, pushing back against the headline for not referring to those who have periods as just ‘women’.
Many reminded the author that transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people can also menstruate.
In a statement issued to Variety following the controversy, Eddie said: “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process. 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 non-binary identities are valid. 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.”
Following the backlash, Rowling stood by her comments, arguing “it isn’t hate to speak the truth”.
She tweeted: “If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Eddie previously faced a backlash of his own for his portrayal of trans woman Lili Elbe in the biopic The Danish Girl, with many suggesting the role should have gone to a trans actor.
He told IndieWire around the film’s release: “I think it’s an incredibly important discussion. And I think it’s also representative of a lot of discrimination against trans people in the workplace generally.
“I think there has been years of cisgender success on the back of trans stories. But I know that Tom [Hooper, the director] when he was making this film – many trans people worked on the film...
“For me, I hope there’s a day when there are more trans actors and trans actresses playing trans parts, but also cisgender parts. And I hope – as an actor one hopes – that one should be able to play any sort of part if one plays it with a sense of integrity and responsibility.”
Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe also shared his thoughts on the JK Rowling controversy earlier this week, saying he felt “compelled” to speak in support of the transgender community.