Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs has responded to J. K. Rowling’s controversy and admitted that, while he disagrees with her, he won’t “stab her in the back” without having a conversation with her first. The English actor is best known for portraying Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter film franchise. Isaacs starred as the cold, calculated villain and father of Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) in six of the Harry Potter films between 2002 and 2011. The eight-film Harry Potter series is based on the books of the same name written by Rowling, published between 1997 and 2007 and becoming a global phenomenon.


In recent years, Rowling has fallen under scrutiny for her views on the transgender community. Her views gained wide public knowledge beginning in 2019 when Rowling tweeted support for Maya Forstater, a woman who sued her place of work after her contract wasn’t renewed, claiming she was fired for her beliefs about the transgender community. Rowling expanded on her views over the years, expressing beliefs that gender is determined by biology. As a result, Rowling has been called a TERF (trans-exclusionary radical feminist), and transphobic because these beliefs invalidate the identities of trans men and trans women, as well as nonbinary folks. The Harry Potter franchise has attempted to reduce Rowling’s presence amidst the controversy, but as the creator of Harry Potter, she remains involved. Rowling’s views have divided the public, as well as the stars of the Harry Potter films.

In an interview with the Telegraph (via People), Isaacs responded to Rowling’s anti-trans beliefs and stated that he won’t “stab her in the back.” Isaacs admitted that his opinions do differ very much from Rowling’s, but that the situation is “complicated.” Isaacs also points out that the author is quite charitable and has done much good for children around the world with her Lumos organization. Isaacs concludes that he won’t stab her in the back until he has at least had “a conversation” with her. Read Isaacs’ full statement below:

“There’s a bunch of stuff about Jo. You know, I play complicated people, I’m interested in complicated people. I don’t want to get drawn into the trans issues, talking about them, because it’s such an extraordinary minefield. She has her opinions, I have mine. They differ in many different areas. But one of the things that people should know about her too — not as a counter-argument — is that she has poured an enormous amount of her fortune into making the world a much better place, for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children, through her charity Lumos. And that is unequivocally good. Many of us Harry Potter actors have worked for it, and seen on the ground the work that they do. So for all that she has said some very controversial things, I was not going to be jumping to stab her in the front — or back — without a conversation with her, which I’ve not managed to have yet.”

Isaacs is the most recent in a long list of stars who have responded to Rowling’s controversy. Some stars have been quick to slam Rowling for her views, while others, like Isaac, have felt more conflicted about the issue. For example, Harry Potter himself Daniel Radcliffe apologized to the trans community for Rowling’s 2020 essay, writing, “To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you.” The actor made his personal views clear by also writing, “Transgender women are women,” confirming that he does not hold the same views as Rowling.

More recently, Radcliffe and Isaacs’ fellow Harry Potter star Rupert Grint described Rowling as his “auntie,” and someone who remains his auntie even though he strongly disagrees with her views. Isaacs seems to share a similar sentiment to Grint in that he disagrees with Rowling, but is hesitant to say much more about her because her identity and relationship with him goes beyond her opinions. Isaacs doesn’t specify exactly what his views on the trans community are, simply states that they differ from Rowling’s. As Rowling remains loudly and publicly vocal about her anti-trans views, and as she remains involved with the Harry Potter franchise through her scriptwriting duties on the Fantastic Beasts film series, she continues to be closely intertwined with the multimedia brand despite her beliefs.

Source: Telegraph (via People)

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