‘Harry Potter’ Feud Deepens, Actor Gives “Sad” Update on JK Rowling Relationship

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Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter being shocked on the left and 'Harry Potter' Movie Poster on the right

Credit: Inside the Magic

Daniel Radcliffe has provided an update on the ongoing feud between Harry Potter author JK Rowling and, well, everyone who opposes her.

Since 2018, JK Rowling has increasingly put herself at the forefront of the conversation around gender identity. The author’s opinions – which some have dubbed transphobic – have sparked controversy among both former fans and stars of the franchise that made her famous.

JK Rowling’s Past Controversies

Some of Rowling’s most controversial moments in recent years have included a series of controversial posts on X (then known as Twitter) in 2020, in which she wrote: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

JK Rowling visits the Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan
Credit: Universal Studios Japan

Related: JK Rowling Threatens Legal War Against Former ‘Harry Potter’ Fans

Most recently, she publicly challenged Scottish Police to arrest her over her views on the transgender community, having herself been reported to police by British transgender broadcaster India Willoughby when she purposely misgendered her (repeatedly) on social media.

“Some time ago, lawyers advised me that not only did I have a clearly winnable case against India Willoughby for defamation, but that India’s obsessive targeting of me over the past few years may meet the legal threshold for harassment,” Rowling wrote on X.

“I ignored this advice because I couldn’t be bothered giving India the publicity he so clearly craves. It appears to have slipped what passes for India’s mind that he’s previously called a fellow trans woman a man on this very site.”

JK Rowling on the red carpet in the Wizarding World theme park land at Universal Studios
Credit: Universal Studios

Weeks later, Rowling included Willoughby in a thread in which she listed and misgendered several transgender women – several of whom are convicted sexual offenders. Rowling sarcastically dubbed all of those featured as female before clarifying, “Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.”

Responses From Harry Potter Stars

In the midst of Rowling’s controversies, multiple Harry Potter stars have come forward to clarify that they do not share the same opinions. That includes the ‘golden trio’ of the franchise: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley).

(L to R) Emma Watson as Hermione, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, and Rupert Grint and Ron Weasley
Credit: Warner Bros.

Back in 2020, when Rowling shared a now-infamous essay explaining her thoughts on gender identity, Radcliffe responded via an essay for the LGBTQ+ charity The Trevor Project.

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote. “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.”

Harry Potter stares ahead in fear in front of a tombstone
Credit: Warner Bros.

Radcliffe added: “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you. I really hope that you don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you.”

JK Rowling vs. Harry Potter Stars

Rowling had never publicly addressed the difference in opinion between her and the actors who brought her characters to life – until recently.

Last month, a fan tagged Rowling in a post on X addressing Radcliffe and Watson’s support for the trans community. “Just waiting for Dan and Emma to give you a very public apology, safe in the knowledge that you will forgive them,” wrote user @StAustellAdam.

Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe, on set of the Harry Potter series
Credit: Warner Bros.

Rowling later responded, making it very clear that she would not forgive the actors for their comments. “Not safe, I’m afraid,” she wrote. “Celebs who cozied 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 traumatized detransitioners and vulnerable women reliant on single-sex spaces.”

Now, Radcliffe himself has addressed the situation.

In a recent profile for The Atlantic, Radcliffe was asked about his work with The Trevor Project in light of Rowling’s comments, to which he admitted that the situation makes him “really sad.”

“I do look at the person that I met, the times that we met, and the books that she wrote, and the world that she created, and all of that is to me so deeply empathic,” Radcliffe said.

Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) watching Buckbeak die in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakban'
Credit: Warner Bros.

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He went on to explain that while he owes Rowling a lot for his career, he doesn’t feel like he owes her anything in the way of his public opinions.

“Jo, obviously Harry Potter would not have happened without her, so nothing in my life would have probably happened the way it is without that person,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean that you owe the things you truly believe to someone else for your entire life.”

The Atlantic also noted that Rowling declined to provide a comment for Radcliffe’s profile.

Daniel Radcliffe looking happy and astonished as Harry Potter
Credit: Warner Bros.

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With the pair seemingly not on good terms, the odds of Radcliffe reprising his role in a Harry Potter sequel – with which Rowling would inevitably be involved – seem increasingly slim.

For the past few years, rumors have sporadically surged that Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to make a film adaptation of the stage production “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” which follows the main characters of the series in their late thirties (an age Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint are all now approaching).

(L to R) Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny at the end of 'Deathly Hallows Part 2'
Credit: Warner Bros.

Recently, it was reported that the reason why Warner Bros. Discovery had abandoned this plan and instead switched to rebooting the franchise for a Max TV series was because Daniel Radcliffe and co. had declined to appear in another Harry Potter project with Rowling involved.

It has also been rumored that the studio would like to buy Rowling out of the franchise in order to open the door to new projects in the future.

Would you like to see Daniel Radcliffe reprise the role of Harry Potter in the future? Let us know in the comments!

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