Katherine Waterston, star of the Harry Potter spin-off series Fantastic Beasts, has explained why she felt it was important to make her position on trans rights crystal clear.
Waterston told The Independent that it “felt important to communicate my position” regarding her support of trans people due to her connection with Fantastic Beasts and its author, JK Rowling.
The actor spoke last year after JK Rowling returned the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope award in the wake of criticism from its president over her remarks on trans lives.
This came after Rowling published a essay listing her reasons for being worried about “the new trans activism”.
In response, Waterston shared a Guardian article to her Instagram which bore the following headline: “Trans women pose no threat to cis women, but we pose a threat to them if we make them outcasts.”
Waterston had circled and underlined certain sections of the piece in red, drawing particular attention to the sentence: “Sorry, you can’t be a feminist if you’re not for everyone’s human rights, notably other women’s human rights.”
When asked about the post by The Independent, Waterston made clear: “Because I was associated with Fantastic Beasts, it felt important to communicate my position.
“One wondered if they might be grouped in with other people’s views by association.”
Wizarding World stars quick to distance themselves from JK Rowling
Several other actors associated with both Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts have spoken out in support of trans rights following Rowling’s comments, while Harry Potter fans have expressed “disappointment” in the author’s views.
Eddie Redmayne, who stars alongside Waterston in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, told Variety: “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educated myself.”
Daniel Radcliffe, who played Harry Potter himself, said: “Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender’s people…”
The other two members of the so-called ‘Golden Trio’ – Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) – echoed Radcliffe’s sentiments while fellow cast members Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley), and Katie Leung (Cho Chang) also released statements via social media in support of the trans community.