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Rupert Grint compares JK Rowling to “auntie” he “doesn’t agree with”

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she’s still my auntie"

By Hollie Geraghty

Rupert wears a dark shirt on a red leather chair
Rupert Grint in 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts' (Photo credit: HBO Max).

Rupert Grint has spoken about the “tricky” relationship he shares with JK Rowling, comparing her to an “auntie” he doesn’t “necessarily agree” with.

The ‘Harry Potter‘ Star, who played Ron Weasley in the eight-part film franchise, has spoken about his complicated relationship with the author who has come under fire in recent years for her views on transgender people.

Published in The Times’ ‘What I’ve Learnt’ column this weekend (January 15), Grint said: “I liken JK Rowling to an auntie.

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she’s still my auntie. It’s a tricky one.”

The actor issued a statement in 2020 that said: “I firmly stand with the trans community and echo the sentiments expressed by many of my peers.

“Trans women are women. Trans men are men. We should all be entitled to live with love and without judgement.”

He also spoke about the author in another interview with Esquire in March 2021, sharing that he was “hugely grateful” for everything she had done.

“I think that she’s extremely talented, and I mean, clearly, her works are genius,” he said. “But yeah, I think also you can have huge respect for someone and still disagree with things like that.”

The backlash surrounding Rowling’s views started in December 2019 when she voiced her support for researcher Maya Forstater who lost her job for “offensive and exclusionary” language, stating that “men cannot change into women”.

The author has since faced numerous controversies about her views on transgender people, including when she took issue with the phrase “people who menstruate”.

Rowling denied allegations of transphobia after the backlash, tweeting: “I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

She faced further controversy when she publishing an essay which was criticised for including harmful beliefs about transgender people.

Her comments has resulted in accusations that she is a “TERF”, which stands for trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have also issued their own statements in support of the transgender community.

The ‘Harry Potter’ cast recently featured in ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts’, which did not feature the author, but included old interview clips.