Eddie Redmayne has responded to author JK Rowling over her comments about transgender people, saying his transgender friends were “tired of this constant questioning of their identities”.
The actor, 38, stars in Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts films, which are set before the events of the Harry Potter books.
Last weekend, Rowling took issue with a headline on an online article discussing “people who menstruate”, and said: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Critics accused her of being transphobic, an allegation Rowling strongly denies.
Redmayne said he disagreed with her comments and urged respect for the transgender community.
His statement 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 JK 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.”
Redmayne earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in 2016’s The Danish Girl, about a transgender woman who was among the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery.
Earlier this week, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe waded into the row over Rowling’s comments, saying he hoped they did not “taint” the series for fans.
Following a backlash, Rowling, 54, stood by her comments, arguing “it isn’t hate to speak the truth”.
She 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.”
Rowling attracted criticism in December last year, after she voiced her support for a researcher who was sacked after tweeting that transgender people cannot change their biological sex.