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'Schindler's List' Actor Ralph Fiennes Denounces 'Vitriol,' 'Hatred' Hurled at J.K. Rowling Over Transgender Issue

Michael W. Chapman | March 18, 2021 | 4:25pm EDT
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Award-winning actor and UNICEF UK ambassador Ralph Fiennes. (Getty Images)
Award-winning actor and UNICEF UK ambassador Ralph Fiennes. (Getty Images)

Since Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling started publicly questioning how transgender ideology might erase the concept of sex (male, female), she has been harshly criticized by many leftists and LGBT activists. In reference to those attacks, two-time Academy Award-nominee British actor Ralph Fiennes said the "violence of language" being hurled against people with different views is "disturbing."

Fiennes, a Shakespearean actor who was nominated for two Academy Awards and has starred in four Harry Potter films and two James Bond movies, among many others, was asked by The Telegraph about the criticism of J. K. Rowling. 

Harry Potter author and philanthropist J.K. Rowling.  (Getty Images)
Harry Potter author and philanthropist J.K. Rowling. (Getty Images)

"I can't understand the vitriol directed at her," said Fiennes. "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," he added.

Rowling's Harry Potter books have sold more than 500 million copies worldwide and spawned numerous movies and related products.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In June 2020, in response to a commentary entitled "Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate," Rowling tweeted, "'People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

After much criticism that day, Rowling further tweeted, "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."

"[M]y life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so," she later tweeted.

On June 10, 2020, Rowling posted a lengthy article on her website explaining why she had spoken out on sex and gender issues.

"It’s been clear to me for a while that the new trans activism is having (or is likely to have, if all its demands are met) a significant impact on many of the causes I support, because it’s pushing to erode the legal definition of sex and replace it with gender," said the author and philanthropist.  (Emphasis added.) 

She continued, "I’m concerned about the huge explosion in young women wishing to transition and also about the increasing numbers who seem to be detransitioning (returning to their original sex), because they regret taking steps that have, in some cases, altered their bodies irrevocably, and taken away their fertility." (Emphasis added.)

"... I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe," said Rowling.  "When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth."

  (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
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