Harry Melling, best known for his role as Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films, weighs in on J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans comments.
Harry Melling, who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films, weighs in on the J.K. Rowling saga. The Harry Potter film franchise began in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, based on J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels of the same name.
The Harry Potter film series, which has so far included three Fantastic Beasts films, is the fourth highest-grossing film franchise of all time.
While she is admired for her writing, Rowling sparked outrage in 2018 for her transphobic remarks, and she has continued to perpetuate harmful discourse against the transgender community. As a result, she has become a contentious figure on the internet.
Melling weighs in on Rowling’s controversy in a recent interview with The Independent, disagreeing with her anti-trans stance but not condemning the author.
Melling believes that everyone has the right to choose how they want to identify, and that “transgender women are women and transgender men are men.” Melling’s statement is below:
“I can only speak for myself, and what I feel, to me, is very simple, which is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men. Every single person has the right to choose who they are and to identify themselves as what’s true to themselves. I don’t want to join the debate of pointing fingers and saying, ‘That’s right, that’s wrong,’ because I don’t think I’m the correct spokesperson for that. But I do believe that everybody has the right to choose.”
Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.— Emma Watson (@EmmaWatson) June 10, 2020
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Other Harry Potter Cast Members React to J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Statements
Melling is far from the first member of the Harry Potter cast to openly disagree with Rowling. In June 2020, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe issued an apology for Rowling’s transphobic remarks.
Saying he was sorry for the pain caused by the author’s dialogue. He continued by saying “Women, transgender or not, are women. Any statement to the contrary obliterates transgender people’s identity and dignity.” Radcliffe went on to say that if fans identify with any Harry Potter characters they consider to be LGBTQ+.
They should be able to do so freely and in safety. Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne are two other Harry Potter actors who have spoken out against Rowling.
On the other hand, some Harry Potter actors have sided with Rowling, many of whom believe Rowling has received unfair criticism.
Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Bellatrix Lestrange, recently stated that the reaction to Rowling’s comments has been “horrendous,” and that Rowling is “allowed her opinion.”
In October, Voldemort actor Ralph Fiennes said that the abuse she has been subjected to is “disgusting” and “appalling.”
While some Wizarding World actors have spoken out on either side of the debate, others have chosen to remain silent on the subject. Melling’s observation is unique.
However, he declines to participate in the debate not because he doesn’t want to cause drama with Rowling, but because he recognizes that as a cisgender, male actor, he isn’t the “correct spokesperson” for transgender issues.
With Rowling continuing to express her transphobic views, more outspoken Harry Potter actors may come forward to weigh in on the issue in the future.