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Harry Potter’s Dudley Actor takes a stance on the J.K. Rowling controversy

Harry Melling, who portrayed Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter movies, has an opinion on the recent J.K. Rowling debate. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, released in 2001, marked the start of the Harry Potter film series, which is based on Rowling’s eponymous fantasy novels. The Harry Potter franchise, which has so far produced three Fantastic Beasts movies, is presently the fourth-highest earning movie series of all time. Despite being admired for her literature, Rowling’s transphobic remarks first drew attention in 2018 and she has since continued to spread misinformation about the transgender community. She is becoming a contentious character online as a result.

Melling responds to Rowling’s controversy in a recent interview with The Independent, disagreeing with the author’s anti-trans position but remaining neutral. According to Melling, “transgender women are women and transgender men are men” and that everyone has the freedom to choose how they want to identify. The following is Melling’s statement:

“I can only speak for myself, and what I feel, to me, is very simple, which is that transgender women are women and transgender men are men. Every single person has the right to choose who they are and to identify themselves as what’s true to themselves. I don’t want to join the debate of pointing fingers and saying, ‘That’s right, that’s wrong,’ because I don’t think I’m the correct spokesperson for that. But I do believe that everybody has the right to choose.”

Other Harry Potter Actors discuss J.K. Rowling’s Anti-trans Statements:

Thoughts of Daniel Radcliffe about J.K Rowling:

Melling is by no means the only actor from the Harry Potter series to express open disagreement with Rowling’s position. Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, issued an apology for Rowling’s transphobic remarks in June 2020 and expressed regret for the suffering the author’s words had caused.

Daniel Radcliffe during Warner Bros.’ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire New York City Premiere – Outside Arrivals at Ziegfeld Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

He continued by saying

“Female transgender people are women. Any claim to the contrary robs transgender persons of their identity and dignity.”

In addition, Radcliffe said that fans should feel free and secure to identify with whatever Harry Potter characters they believe to be LGBTQ+. Harry Potter actors Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne are two more who have spoken out against Rowling.

On the other hand, some Harry Potter stars have sided with Rowling, many of whom believe the criticism she has faced is excessive.

Thoughts of Helena Bonham Carter about J.K Rowling:

LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 16: Helena Bonham Carter attends Save The Children’s Magical Winter Gala celebrating the 20th anniversary since the publication of the first of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter stories at The Guildhall on November 16, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Bellatrix Lestrange, recently stated that Rowling is “allowed her view” and that the reaction to her statements has been “horrendous.”

Thoughts of Ralph Fiennes about J.K Rowling:

Actor Ralph Fiennes attends the premiere of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” at Alice Tully Hall on November 15, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Ralph Fiennes, who plays Voldemort, said the abuse she has been subjected to is “disgusting” and “appalling” in an earlier statement from October.

While some Wizarding World performers have spoken out on either side of the controversy, others have opted to remain silent. Melling’s response stands out, too, in that he declines to weigh in on the discussion not because he doesn’t want to upset Rowling, but rather because he recognises that as a cisgender, male actor, he isn’t the “proper voice” for transgender problems. But as long as Rowling expresses her transphobic views, more outspoken Harry Potter performers could eventually come forward to provide their ideas.

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