Harry Melling says transgender rights are a “very simple” issue after the backlash against ‘Harry Potter’ writer JK Rowling.
The 33-year-old actor, who found fame after playing Dudley Dursley in the wizard film franchise, says he can “only speak for himself” amid the furore surrounding JK’s comments on the transgender community, but says he supports the freedom for anyone to choose to identify in whatever manner they choose.
He told the Independent: “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.”
‘Harry Potter’ writer JK, 57, was last year defended over her transgender views by Ralph Fiennes.
The 59-year-old actor, who played Lord Voldemort in film franchise based on the writer’s book series, said he understands where JK is “coming from” with her remarks on trans issues and branded the abuse and death threats with which she has been targeted in the wake of her comments “disgusting”.
JK has been hit by online attacks since 2020 when she bemoaned the loss of references to biological women.
She took issue with an online article’s mention of “people who menstruate” by tweeting: “‘People who menstruate’. I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Among those who have since hit out at the author over her remarks are ‘Harry Potter’ actors including Daniel Radcliffe, 33, and Emma Watson, 32, as well as Eddie Redmayne, 40, who featured in her ‘Fantastic Beasts’ films.
JK also recently ended up in a war of words with singer Billy Bragg over transgender rights and accused him of using the “Holocaust to attack feminists”.
She claimed “bearded men”, including Billy, 65, and BBC chat show host Graham Norton, 59, are defining what a woman is instead of leaving it to females.