Warner Bros issues statement after JK Rowling’s controversial tweets

The Harry Potter studio said they wanted to "foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people."

JK Rowling

Warner Bros – the studio behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films ­– has issued a statement in response to JK Rowling’s recent controversial comments on trans people.

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Reacting to the author’s suggestion women should only be defined by their biological sex and not their gender identity, Warner Bros said they recognise their “responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people”.

“The events in the last several weeks have firmed our resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues,” the full statement (via Deadline) began.

“Warner Bros’ position on inclusiveness is well established, and fostering a diverse and inclusive culture has never been more important to our company and to our audiences around the world.

“We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all. We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”

Rowling recently posted a lengthy blog post defending her views, revealing she had been the victim of domestic.

“If you could come inside my head and understand what I feel when I read about a trans woman dying at the hands of a violent man, you’d find solidarity and kinship,” said Rowling.

“I have a visceral sense of the terror in which those trans women will have spent their last seconds on Earth, because I too have known moments of blind fear when I realised that the only thing keeping me alive was the shaky self-restraint of my attacker.”

Although also stating “trans people need and deserve protection,” the writer expressed concerns about “the new trans activism” that, she argues, could greatly impact the rights of cisgender women.

“I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it,” she said.

Rowling’s initial Twitter comments – in which she claimed “erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives” – have been condemned by actors of the Wizarding World.

While Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe asserted “transgender women are women,” Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) posted on Twitter that “trans people are who they say they are”.

Eddie Redmayne, who leads the Fantastic Beasts movies, also criticised Rowling’s comments, stating “Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative.”

Redmayne is set to star in the third Fantastic Beasts film, which has shut down production due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films are available on TV. If you’re looking for something else to watch, check out our TV Guide.