JK Rowling Praised By ‘Harry Potter’ Star Following Her Exclusion From HBO Max’s 20th Anniversary Amid Trans Controversy

JK Rowling Praised By ‘Harry Potter’ Star Following Her Exclusion From HBO Max’s 20th Anniversary Amid Trans Controversy

JK Rowling was noticeably absent from the guest list when HBO Max announced the 20th reunion special for the Harry Potter cast. This comes after the trans controversy and insistent cancel culture that has dogged the author since June last year after she shared several comments that many deemed transphobic.

But one star of the franchise isn’t holding that against her.

Afshan Azad — the actress who played Padma Patil in the fantasy franchise — took to social media just days after JK got iced out of the reunion special and thanked the author, claiming she owes her everything for her success.

Padma Patil

“When the Philosophers Stone film came out, I was sucked into the magical world like every other kid,” Azad tweeted. “Little did I know years later I’d audition for a role that would change my entire life upside down. I owe everything to JK Rowling, the casting agents and the Potter films.”

Fans were quick to thank Azad for her tweets, dubbing her “braver and more gracious” than several of her co-stars, who have distanced themselves from Rowling after she became embroiled in the row surrounding her tweets about transgender people.

“How good of you to be brave enough not to distance yourself from her as other cast members have (probably for their own protection),” said a fan.

“Beautifully put. Well done in acknowledging those that had a positive impact in your life and standing up for them. Especially as others slink away in fear from bullies & trolls,” wrote another.

A third added: “Thank you. You are brave and gracious. Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy. You’ve taken a huge personal risk to show respect to the person who gave you an opportunity. I wish you all the best in the future. You will be remembered whilst they will be forgotten.”

Several Harry Potter stars, including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, distanced themselves from Rowling after she was condemned for mocking an online article which used the words “people who menstruate” instead of “women”.

She was hit by what she described as “relentless attacks” after she wrote: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

The acclaimed novelist then penned a deeply personal essay to address the controversy, revealing she was sexually assaulted in her 20s and saying she still feels the scars of domestic violence in her first marriage.

Her remarks led to a massive backlash with criticism coming from fans and Harry Potter stars including Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, Katie Leung who played Cho Chang, and Eddie Redmayne who played Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts.

But actor Robbie Coltrane – who played Rubeus Hagrid in the movies – told the Radio Times: “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.”

Ralph Fiennes, the actor who played Lord Voldemort, also voiced his support for the embattled author, saying in an interview with The Telegraph, “I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her. I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”

Rowling was also defended by actor Eddie Izzard, who recently insisted she doesn’t believe the Harry Potter author is transphobic.

Izzard said: “I don’t think JK Rowling is transphobic. I think we need to look at the things she has written about in her blog. Women have been through such hell over history. Trans people have been invisible, too. I hate the idea we are fighting between ourselves, but it’s not going to be sorted with the wave of a wand. I don’t have all the answers. If people disagree with me, fine – but why are we going through hell on this?”

Rowling has also been subjected to bitter attacks from transgender activists, including a most recent attempt at doxxing her when the drag queen, Holly Stars, reportedly posted a picture of the author’s house and address, later taking it down after claiming that the tweet was met with “an overwhelming amount of serious and threatening transphobic messages.”

Rowling has long since defended her comments, saying, “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.

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – i.e., to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences is nonsense. I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans.

“At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

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