Succession star Brian Cox speaks out in support of JK Rowling amid row over her transgender comments


Brian Cox has defended Harry Potter author JK Rowling regarding her controversial comments about the transgender community.

The Succession star, 76, said that critics had been unfair to her, and insisted she is ‘entitled to her opinion.’

The public backlash against the author’s views started in March 2018, when Rowling, 57, was criticised for liking a tweet which referred to trans women as ‘men in dresses’.

‘I don’t like the way she’s been treated’: Brian Cox has defended Harry Potter author JK Rowling regarding her controversial comments about the transgender community.

Many celebrities – including Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – have publicly spoken out against the author.    

Speaking on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Brian defended Rowling, explaining: ‘I don’t like the way she’s been treated, actually. I think she’s entitled to her opinion, she’s entitled to say what she feels.

‘As a woman, she’s very much entitled to say what she feels about her own body. There’s nobody better to say that, as a woman.’

‘So, I do feel that people have been a bit high and mighty about their own attitude toward JK Rowling quite frankly,’ Brian continued.

Critics: The public backlash against the author's views started in March 2018, when Rowling, 57, was criticised for liking a tweet which referred to trans women as 'men in dresses'

Critics: The public backlash against the author’s views started in March 2018, when Rowling, 57, was criticised for liking a tweet which referred to trans women as ‘men in dresses’

The Scottish actor also said he supported Scotland’s recently passed Gender Recognition Reform bill, which allows trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC) without a medical diagnosis.

Last week Heartstopper star Sebastian Croft addressed the backlash he has received over his upcoming role in the Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy.

The actor, 21, – who has often been supportive of the LGBTQ+ community – said in a Tweet on Saturday that he signed up to the project ‘long before he was aware of Rowling’s views’.

Hogwarts Legacy is an upcoming action role-playing game set a century before the Harry Potter novels by Rowling.

Ahead of its release in February, it was confirmed that Croft would voice the game’s playable character this week – sparking backlash and controversy.

Sebastian wrote on Twitter in response: ‘I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. 

Baacklash: Many celebrities - including Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson - have publicly spoken out against the author

Baacklash: Many celebrities – including Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – have publicly spoken out against the author 

‘This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views. I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men.’

The actor continued: ‘I know far more now than I did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3.

‘I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T.’

The public backlash against the author’s views started in March 2018, when Rowling was criticised for liking a tweet which referred to trans women as ‘men in dresses’.

Then her tweet on June 6, 2020, in response to a headline referencing ‘people who menstruate’, sparked further criticism, with some seeing it as a direct attack on the trans community.

Days later, in an online essay, Rowling wrote that her interest in trans issues originated from being a survivor of abuse and having concerns around single-sex spaces.

Reaction: Earlier this week Heartstopper's Sebastian Croft addressed the backlash he has received over his upcoming role in the Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy

Reaction: Earlier this week Heartstopper’s Sebastian Croft addressed the backlash he has received over his upcoming role in the Harry Potter game Hogwarts Legacy

Having his say: Sebastian wrote on Twitter in response: 'I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. 'This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling's views'

Having his say: Sebastian wrote on Twitter in response: ‘I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. ‘This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views’

In the blog post she detailed what she said were the five reasons why she felt the need to talk about the issue.

These included her interest in ‘both education and safeguarding’ and ‘freedom of speech’.

Explaining her final reason, she wrote: ‘I’ve been in the public eye now for over 20 years and have never talked publicly about being a domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor.

‘This isn’t because I’m ashamed those things happened to me, but because they’re traumatic to revisit and remember.’

In December 2021, Rowling made another controversial social media post prior to the release of the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

The author addressed a report that the Scottish police would begin to record rapes by offenders with male genitalia as being committed by a woman if the attacker identifies as a female.

Controversy: Rowling wrote that her interest in trans issues originated from being a survivor of abuse and having concerns around single-sex spaces

Controversy: Rowling wrote that her interest in trans issues originated from being a survivor of abuse and having concerns around single-sex spaces

Ms Rowling tweeted: ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. The Penised Individual Who Raped You Is a Woman.’

More recently, the writer insisted that she does not feel ‘cancelled’ by the stream of criticism over the last three years.

It came as she announced she will fund a new women-only service for victims of sexual violence.

Meanwhile in November, an LGBTQ activist commended Rowling for her ‘bravery’ and told her followers that people are ‘burning the wrong witch’ after she was unable to find any evidence that the Harry Potter author is transphobic.

EJ Rosetta, a writer and columnist for HuffPost, who has been vocal herself over trans issues, said in a series of Tweets that JK Rowling ‘is not an ‘intolerable transphobe”, but stood up for women’s rights when she could have sat back.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk