Actor Daniel Radcliffe said in a statement on Monday that he was “deeply sorry for the pain” caused by comments "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling made over the weekend that have since been condemned by LGBTQ organizations and figures as transphobic.

“To all the people who now feel that their experience of the books has been tarnished or diminished, I am deeply sorry for the pain these comments have caused you,” Radcliffe, who starred as Harry in the film adaptations of Rowling’s hit books, said in a statement published by The Trevor Project, a group that offers suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth.

While Radcliffe in his statement acknowledged Rowling is “unquestionably responsible for the course [his] life has taken,” he added that, as “someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.”


“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,” he wrote, while also pointing to data from The Trevor Project that shows a vast majority of “transgender and nonbinary youth reported being the subject of discrimination due to their gender identity.” 

“It’s clear that we need to do more to support transgender and nonbinary people, not invalidate their identities, and not cause further harm,” he continued.

Rowling faced backlash on Twitter over the weekend after posting a number of tweets that sparked a wave of criticism from LGBTQ rights groups and prominent figures and were blasted as transphobic.

In a tweet on Saturday remarking on a headline from an opinion piece on Devex, titled, “Creating a more equal post-COVID-19 world for people who menstruate,” Rowling wrote: “ ‘People who menstruate.’ I’m sure there used to be a word for those people.” 

“Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?” she continued.

In a pair of other tweets discussing gender identity on Saturday, Rowling 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,” she wrote.

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women - ie, to male violence - ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences - is a nonsense,” she wrote in another tweet.

Rowling drew viral backlash on social media over the tweets on Saturday, with groups like GLAAD labelling her comments “anti-trans.” 

Jonathan Van Ness was also among a list of figures who called Rowling out for the remarks on Twitter, writing, “Trans women are women. Trans Black people & trans non-Black people are discriminated against every single day. They’re dying. We’re fighting for Black people & trans people and you’re doing this?”


In his statement on Monday, Radcliffe, who identities himself as an ally, urged others interested in joining him in "learning more about transgender and nonbinary identities" to read The Trevor Project’s Guide to Being an Ally to Transgender and Nonbinary Youth.

“It’s an introductory educational resource that covers a wide range of topics, including the differences between sex and gender, and shares best practices on how to support transgender and nonbinary people,” he said.

The “Harry Potter” star also said he hopes fans “don’t entirely lose what was valuable in these stories to you” after the recent comments made by Rowling, who has a history of making controversial remarks on gender identity.

“If these books taught you that love is the strongest force in the universe, capable of overcoming anything; if they taught you that strength is found in diversity, and that dogmatic ideas of pureness lead to the oppression of vulnerable groups; if you believe that a particular character is trans, nonbinary, or gender fluid, or that they are gay or bisexual; if you found anything in these stories that resonated with you and helped you at any time in your life — then that is between you and the book that you read, and it is sacred,” he said. 

“And in my opinion,” he added, “nobody can touch that. It means to you what it means to you and I hope that these comments will not taint that too much."