Mark Hamill apologises for liking JK Rowling's controversial tweet

Julia Hunt
Mark Hamill arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker" in Hollywood in 2019. (VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Mark Hamill has said sorry for liking a tweet from JK Rowling that has been called “transphobic”.

The Star Wars actor said he had not understood the meaning of the message when he liked the post.

The controversy started this week when Rowling gave her support to Maya Forstater, a thinktank researcher who lost her employment tribunal after her opinions on sex were ruled "absolutist".

Read more: Mark Hamill calls The Rise Of Skywalker a missed opportunity

Forstater lost her job as a tax expert at the Centre for Global Developments after tweeting that transgender women cannot change their biological sex while voicing opposition to government proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act.

JK Rowling attends the HBO Documentary Films premiere of "Finding the Way Home" at 30 Hudson Yards on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Harry Potter author Rowling defended Forstater on Twitter, writing: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security.

“But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?

“#IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill."

Luke Skywalker star Hamill liked Rowling’s post, leading a fan to ask him: “Why did you like this transphobic tweet?”

But he responded: “Ignorance is no excuse, but I liked the tweet without understanding what the last line or hashtags meant.

“It was the 1st 4 lines I liked & I didn't realise it had any transphobic connotation.”

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Other celebrities including Patricia Arquette and Olympian Sharron Davies have also waded in to the debate.

Arquette, whose late sister Alexis Arquette was transgender, said: “I do not stand with Maya for many reasons.”

Swimmer Davies tweeted: “The Sex we are Is a biological reality. A scientific fact.

“Where as Gender today is a social construct, an ideology, a feeling, totally changeable.

“I believe we cannot change sex but can Live happily expressing ourselves outside of any stereotypes. #IStandWithMaya #sexnotgender.”