Evanna Lynch has called for people to have “more grace and listen” to JK Rowling.
The 31-year-old actress – who is best known for her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in the ‘Harry Potter’ films – admitted she was shocked by the backlash against the author, who has been accused of transphobia for advocating for single-sex spaces and the importance of biological sex, and wishes people would study what she has to say, rather than condemning her for what they perceive she has said.
She said: “[I was shocked by the backlash] especially when she wrote her essay [revealing experiences in her unhappy first marriage].
“I just felt that her character has always been to advocate for the most vulnerable members of society. The problem is that there’s a disagreement over who’s the most vulnerable.
“I do wish people would just give her more grace and listen to her.”
Evanna, who became penpals with the writer long before she was cast in the movie franchise while she was battling anorexia, insisted she will “always defend her character” and would happily work on more ‘Harry Potter’ projects in the future.
She told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “These books formed me and JK Rowling inspired me. She inspires me still.”
The 57-year-old author was first criticised when she tweeted an article referring to “people who menstruate” and said: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
She has been slammed for her comments by a number of prominent figures, including ‘Harry Potter’ stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and ‘Fantastic Beasts’ actor Eddie Redmayne, while Evanna herself branded JK “irresponsible”.
She wrote at the time: “I won’t be helping to marginalise trans women and men further. “I think it’s irresponsible to discuss such a delicate topic over Twitter through fragmented thoughts and I wish Jo wouldn’t … That said, as a friend and admirer of Jo I can’t forget what a generous and loving person she is.”
But now, the former ‘Dancing With the Stars’ contestant admitted she was “very naive” when she waded into the debate, especially as she now understands both sides of the story.
She said: “I was very naive when I was dragged into that conversation.
“I didn’t even know there were two sides. I had a view of, like, good and bad. I do have compassion for both sides of the argument.
“I know what it was like to be a teenager who hated my body so much I wanted to crawl out of my skin, so I have great compassion for trans people and I don’t want to add to their pain.
“I understand being too triggered to be able to have a conversation. If you put me in a room with one of my doctors who treated me in the past, ooh, I’d kick off. Like, I would want to scream and yell names.
“I do also think it’s important that JK Rowling has been amplifying the voices of detransitioners. I had this impulse to go, ‘Let’s all just stop talking about it’, and I think probably I’m a bit braver now about having uncomfortable conversations.”