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Robbie Coltrane defends JK Rowling in trans row

Robbie Coltrane has defended JK Rowling from accusations of transphobia, saying he does not find her views offensive (Ian West/Yui Mok/PA)
Robbie Coltrane has defended JK Rowling from accusations of transphobia, saying he does not find her views offensive (Ian West/Yui Mok/PA)

Robbie Coltrane has defended JK Rowling from accusations of transphobia, saying he does not find her views offensive.

Harry Potter author Rowling has attracted strong criticism for comments on gender identity, but vehemently denies she is transphobic.

The row was reignited this week when a Sunday Telegraph review of her latest book, Troubled Blood, said it featured a “transvestite serial killer”.

Coltrane, who played gamekeeper Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, has suggested people are too easily offended.

Robbie Coltrane
Actor Robbie Coltrane has defended JK Rowling in her transphobia row (Andrew Milligan/PA)

He told the Radio Times: “I don’t think what she said was offensive really. I don’t know why but there’s a whole Twitter generation of people who hang around waiting to be offended.

“They wouldn’t have won the war, would they? That’s me talking like a grumpy old man, but you just think, ‘Oh, get over yourself. Wise up, stand up straight and carry on.’”

Cracker star Coltrane, 70, said he did not want to go further because, “I don’t want to get involved in all of that because of all the hate mail and all that s***, which I don’t need at my time of life”.

Rowling was accused of being transphobic after responding to an article headlined “Creating a more equal post-Covid-19 world for people who menstruate”.

She tweeted: “‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Rowling, 55, defended her comments and said: “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.”

She was criticised by Harry Potter stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

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