Graham Linehan says Harry Potter stars are 'symbols of the most remarkable cowardice'

Following the backlash against author JK Rowling.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. 17th August 2023. Graham Linehan performs as part of a Comedy Unleashed stand up show outside the Scottish Parliament in the open air tonight after previous two venues cancelled the show . Ticket holders for the original show at Leith Arches formed the audience. Iain Masterton/Alamy Live News
The IT Crowd creator Graham Linehan performing at stand-up show Comedy Unleashed. (Iain Masterton/Alamy Live News)

The IT Crowd and Father Ted creator Graham Linehan has condemned the actions of Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who publicly cold-shouldered author JK Rowling.

Rowling's stance on protecting sex-based rights for women, dating back to 2017, saw her get 'cancelled' by some feminists and LGBTQ+ activists under the auspices of transphobia, and inevitably, the iconic Potter trio were forced to weigh in on the fallout.

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"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," commented Harry actor Radcliffe.

Meanwhile, Hermione Granger star Watson and Ron Weasley's Grint both chose to side with the masses on this argument - "I don't necessarily agree with everything my auntie says, but she's still my auntie. It's a tricky one," the latter told The Times, referring to Rowling.

Writing for The Mail on Sunday, Linehan, who himself has slammed the actions of trans activists and received a public scalding for doing so, believes the Hogwarts trio are guilty of betrayal.

British writer J.K Rowling poses on the red carpet after arriving to attend the World Premiere of the film
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been cancelled by trans rights activists. (TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

"The intercession of the most famous children's writer in the world in the trans debate was a moment when I thought the argument would shift decisively in my direction," he admitted.

"But no. HMS Rowling was deserted faster than a plague ship, so taboo were the author's perfectly commonplace views on women's rights.

"The young actors from the Harry Potter series of films instantly betrayed her. If I were a star who had never shown any ability to act past the pre-pubescent level that got me into the business, I'd be keeping my head down, not signing statements insinuating that my old mentor was a bigot," the Irishman continued.

"Those actors – Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint – deserve to be remembered as symbols of the most remarkable arrogance, cowardice and ingratitude."

Read more: Daniel Radcliffe participates in roundtable with transgender kids

Back in 2022, Professor Sprout actress Miriam Margolyes argued that the vitriol aimed at Rowling was "misplaced".

"There isn't one answer to all these trans questions. We all know people who are slightly pansy or a bit butch or whatever you call it," she told Radio Times.

"But I think the vituperation JK Rowling has received is misplaced. I don't know her at all. I admire her as a human being. She's a generous woman, she's a brilliant writer."

Watch: Graham Linehan lauds Richard Ayoade and Jonathan Ross's bravery in backing him