As the author continues to garner controversy, Harry Potter star Helena Bonham Carter has stepped up to defend J.K. Rowling. Despite having created one of the most beloved fantasy franchises of all-time, Rowling has become mired in controversy for the past few years after she came under fire for a series of tweets and comments viewed as transphobic, with the bestselling author receiving death threats as well as general backlash. Rowling has remained largely committed to her beliefs in the time since, and multiple Harry Potter stars have shared their thoughts on her beliefs.
In a recent interview with The Times, Helena Bonham Carter opened up about the backlash towards Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. The Bellatrix Lestrange actor defended Rowling against those speaking ill of her, feeling that the criticisms were “horrendous” and “a load of bollocks.” See what Carter said below:
I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people. She’s allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse. Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma, and you have to respect where people come from and their pain. You don’t all have to agree on everything — that would be insane and boring. She’s not meaning it aggressively, she’s just saying something out of her own experience. Personally I feel [my costars] should let her have her opinions, but I think they’re very aware of protecting their own fan base and their generation.
J.K. Rowling Has Divided Harry Potter Fans & Its Cast
Carter isn’t the only Harry Potter actor to speak in favor of the franchise’s source author, with Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes has frequently spoken out in defense of Rowling, believing that she should be celebrated for writing a whole franchise about “empowerment” and criticizing those speaking out against her as being “disgusting” and “appalling.” Additionally, late Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane noted that while he may sound like “a grumpy old man,” he feels some audiences needed to “get over yourself.” Even outside of the franchise, comedian Eddie Izzard has spoken in defense of Rowling, believing she is not transphobic, but rather some need to look closer at the struggles she’s endured as a woman.
On the flip side, multiple Harry Potter actors have spoken out against Rowling’s comments. Lead star Daniel Radcliffe previously apologized for the author’s perceived transphobic beliefs, and more recently explained his apology stemmed from having met many fans who identified in the LGBTQ+ community in the years since the franchise completed that resonated with the films and he didn’t want to have them feel it tarnished. Rupert Grint, Jason Isaacs and Evanna Lynch all took a more middle-of-the-road approach to addressing Rowling’s comments, acknowledging their disagreements with some of her beliefs, while also still feeling close to the author.
In spite of her controversies, Rowling’s future with both Warner Bros. Discovery and the Harry Potter franchise as a whole doesn’t seem to entirely in doubt. New WBD CEO David Zaslav recently confirmed an interest to reignite the series, in spite of the recent Fantastic Beasts movies’ underperformance at the box office and mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. While audiences await word on what the future holds, they can revisit the Wizarding World franchise streaming in its entirety on HBO Max now.