Brian Cox is calling out J.K. Rowling critics.
The “Succession” star addressed the notion of free speech while defending “Harry Potter” creator Rowling despite her repeated anti-transgender comments on social media.
“I don’t like the way she’s been treated, actually. I think she’s entitled to her opinion, she’s entitled to say what she feels,” Cox said during British talk show “Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg” (via Metro UK). “As a woman, she’s very much entitled to say what she feels about her own body. There’s nobody better to say that, as a woman. So, I do feel that people have been a bit high and mighty about their own attitude toward J.K. Rowling.”
“Harry Potter” actor Ralph Fiennes, who played Lord Voldemort in the franchise, previously called the backlash to Rowling “appalling.”
“J.K. Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings,” Fiennes told The New York Times. “It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally centered human being. The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling.”
Fiennes continued, “I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über-right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”
“Harry Potter” alum Daniel Radcliffe formerly told IndieWire that Rowling’s comments do not reflect his own beliefs on equal rights.
“The reason I was felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing ‘Potter,’ I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” Radcliffe said. “And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way. And that was really important.”
Warner Bros. defended continuing working with Rowling, saying in 2022 that the production studio has “enjoyed a creative, productive, and fulfilling partnership with J.K. Rowling for the past 20 years. She is one of the world’s most accomplished storytellers, and we are proud to be the studio to bring her vision, characters, and stories to life now — and for decades to come.”
Rowling penned the seven bestselling “Harry Potter” books before introducing the “Fantastic Beasts” prequel series. The author has come under fire for a slew of anti-trans comments over the years, most recently in March 2022 regarding proposed amendments to the Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland. Rowling co-wrote “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” and has final approval over scripts. Despite not attending HBO’s 20th-anniversary special for “Harry Potter,” Rowling walked the red carpet for the “Fantastic Beasts” latest premiere.
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