The Harry Potter author has attracted extensive criticism after repeatedly sharing her beliefs about the trans community and issues relating to gender identity.
The actor, who plays Harry Potter in the film franchise, said that after meeting with members of the LGBTQ+ community he “wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way”.
In an interview with IndieWire, the 33-year-old star said many young, queer and transgender fans of the series had been “hurt on that day”.
“The reason I felt very, very much as though I needed to say something when I did was because, particularly since finishing Potter, I’ve met so many queer and trans kids and young people who had a huge amount of identification with Potter on that,” he said.
“And so seeing them hurt on that day I was like, I wanted them to know that not everybody in the franchise felt that way.
“And that was really important.”
In June 2020, Rowling took issue with a headline on an online article discussing “people who menstruate,” tweeting: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
Daniel, who became a worldwide star for his portrayal of the schoolboy wizard, commented at the time, stating: “Transgender women are women”.
The actor shared a statement through the LGBTQ+ suicide prevention charity The Trevor Project, saying that while Rowling was “unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken… as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment”.
“It was really important as I’ve worked with the Trevor Project for more than 10 years, and so I don’t think I would’ve been able to look myself in the mirror had I not said anything,” he added to IndieWire.
Last month, Graham Norton removed his Twitter account after his comments about so-called “cancel culture” went viral.
The talk show host took part in a discussion at the Cheltenham Literature Festival where he was asked about the rife debate around “cancel culture” and JK Rowling.
"In what world are you cancelled? I think the word is the wrong word. I think the word should be accountability."
Graham Norton criticises John Cleese and tells #TimesRadio that cancel culture isn't real.@mariellaf1pic.twitter.com/mErngPl2kJ
— Times Radio (@TimesRadio) October 12, 2022
Graham offered: “If people want to shine a light on those issues, and I hope people do, then talk to trans people. Talk to the parents of trans kids. Talk to doctors, talk to psychiatrists, talk to someone who can illuminate this in some way.
“I’m very aware that as ‘bloke off the telly’, your voice can be artificially amplified… once in a blue moon that can be good, but most of the time it’s just a distraction. And it’s for clicks, it’s for whatever.”
“Please can we have some experts? Can we rustle up some [expletive] experts and talk to them, rather than some man in a shiny pink suit?”
It didn’t take long for Rowling to slam Graham’s remarks, despite him having not mentioned her by name in his answer.
Very much enjoying the recent spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree. You may mock, but takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet. https://t.co/V3WFS31gAQ
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 13, 2022
Retweeting a post from singer Billy Bragg in support of Graham, the author tweeted to her 14 million followers, writing: “Very much enjoying the recent spate of bearded men stepping confidently onto their soapboxes to define what a woman is and throw their support behind rape and death threats to those who dare disagree.
“You may mock, but [it] takes real bravery to come out as an Old Testament prophet.”