Eddie Redmayne says it is "culturally imperative" to "respect transgender people", following a controversial comment by J.K. Rowling, for which she was accused of being transphobic.
The 54-year-old author of the Harry Potter books came under fire recently for seemingly invalidating transgender people, when she took to Twitter to slam an article for using the phrase "people who menstruate" rather than "women".
J.K's tweet read: "'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? (sic)"
And now, Eddie — who stars as Newt Scamander in the Harry Potter spin-off movie series Fantastic Beasts — has spoken out to "disagree" with the author, insisting "trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid".
In a statement to Variety, he said: "Respect for transgender people remains a cultural imperative, and over the years I have been trying to constantly educate myself. This is an ongoing process.
"As someone who has worked with both J.K. Rowling and members of the trans community, I wanted to make it absolutely clear where I stand. I disagree with Jo's comments. Trans women are women, trans men are men and non-binary identities are valid.
"I would never want to speak on behalf of the community but I do know that my dear transgender friends and colleagues are tired of this constant questioning of their identities, which all too often results in violence and abuse. They simply want to live their lives peacefully, and it's time to let them do so."
Eddie, 38, previously starred as transgender woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl, for which he earned an Oscar nomination.
J.K.'s comments have also prompted Daniel Radcliffe — who played the titular wizard in the Harry Potter movies — to speak out, as he too disagreed with her stance.
In part of a lengthy statement, he said: "Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I."
Meanwhile, the author subsequently defended her comments on the social media platform, after being inundated with criticism, by strongly denying transphobic claims and insisting she loves the trans community.
She wrote: "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.
"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. (sic)"— BANG
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