Trigger warning: Transphobia
Actor Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies has come out in support of transphobic author JK Rowling. The Harry Potter author has a long history of being transphobic but recently posted a series of tweets stating surrounding menstruation and refused to accept transwomen as women. She even wrote out a whole essay about it. She was panned by many for propagating stereotypes surrounding transgender people. Coltrane, who played a key character, in the series penned by Rowling, came out in support of the author, claiming people were raising an issue for no reason. "I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended. They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, 'Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on,'" said Coltrane, reported the New York Post.
The actor made the comments while talking to Radio Times. He went on to add, "I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended. They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, 'Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.'" Coltrane said he didn't want to go any further into the matter. "I don’t want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that sh*t, which I don’t need at my time of life."
Coltrane's comments come in the wake of a new book, Troubled Blood, written by Rowling, under her pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Her new book courted controversy after it became public that the antagonist of her latest book is a man who dresses as a woman to kill his victims. Critics have slammed the author for once again pushing the stereotype that transgender people are perpetrators of violence when in truth, they are subject to violence as a result of such transphobia.
Rowling seems to be on a personal mission to ensure transwomen aren't accepted as women. An early review of the book by The Daily Telegraph confirmed the rumors as it stated the book's "moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress." Rowling's new book adds to the already existing content in books and films that demonize the community.
Mermaids, a UK-based charity that supports transgender children and their families, weighed in on the book. "This is a long-standing and somewhat tired trope, responsible for the demonization of a small group of people, simply hoping to live their lives with dignity," said a spokesperson, reported CNN . "We are disappointed to hear that the author might be propagating the same, long-standing, and hurtful presentation of trans women as a threat."
In June this year, Rowling responded to an article discussing "people who menstruate" by saying, "I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?" After she was called out, the author stood by comments. "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," said Rowling at the time.
Shortly after that, Daniel Radcliffe, who portrayed Harry Potter in the movies, came out in support of the trans community. "Transgender women are women. 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," said Radcliffe, reported The Guardian.
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COVER IMAGE SOURCE: (L) Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid/Warner Brothers; (R): NEW YORK, DECEMBER 12, 2019: J.K. Rowling (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)