Ralph Fiennes: The ‘verbal abuse’ directed at JK Rowling is ‘disgusting’

In recent years, JK Rowling’s raison d’être has been “being a vile transphobe and then complaining about people’s reaction to her hateful rhetoric.” I truly don’t even believe that transgender issues have touched her life in any real or meaningful way – what’s striking is how this was always an intellectual exercise for Rowling, almost like she’s a fascist political commentator trying to fuel hatred just for kicks and clout. She seems hellbent on marginalizing an already threatened and persecuted community just because she can, because she insists that only white cisgender women can be the most threatened and persecuted. Of course, Rowling gets a lot of hate directed at her. She feeds on it, and it fuels her persecution complex, and that hate muddies the waters and enables her friends to “defend” her from the online attacks. Friends like Ralph Fiennes, who spoke up last year in defense of Rowling. Well, Ralph is at it again.

Harry Potter star Ralph Fiennes has defended JK Rowling against claims she is a “fascist” for expressing opinions on the transgender debate.

The actor, who played Lord Voldemort in the film adaptations of Rowling’s books, has said the author is facing “disgusting” abuse for expressing criticism of gender ideology and voicing concerns about threats to female-only spaces, views which have led critics to label her “fascist” and “transphobic”.

Unlike younger members of the Harry Potter cast, Fiennes has said he understands where Rowling “is coming from” and defended the writer against her detractors, arguing that expressing opinions as a woman does not make someone “fascist”.

The actor said: “The verbal abuse directed at her is disgusting, it’s appalling. I mean, I can understand a viewpoint that might be angry at what she says about women. But it’s not some obscene, über right-wing fascist. It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman.”

Speaking to the New York Times, Fiennes also praised the author, saying: “JK Rowling has written these great books about empowerment, about young children finding themselves as human beings. It’s about how you become a better, stronger, more morally-centred human being.”

[From The Telegraph]

When he defended Rowling last year, I wondered if Fiennes had actually been following all of the sh-t Rowling said and just how transexclusionary she was being. It felt like Fiennes had only gotten Rowling’s side. But he’s a grown man and he knows well enough that shutting up is free. He could have looked into what’s actually happening, the transphobia being written into law around the world, the very real danger and threats against the trans community, the erasure of transgender people and trans issues. This is Ralph Fiennes choosing to be an a–hole.

Photos courtesy of Instar, James Warren/Bang Showbiz/Avalon and Justin Ng/Avalon.

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54 Responses to “Ralph Fiennes: The ‘verbal abuse’ directed at JK Rowling is ‘disgusting’”

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  1. lucy2 says:

    ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’
    Please, JK and Ralph, show me one instance where anyone has stopped her from expressing that. Enough with these ridiculous persecution complexes. Live your life and let others do the same.

    • Flowerlake says:

      Yes. Nobody is stopping her.

      I used to love her, but her focusing on such a marginalized group is evil

    • Cj says:

      Exactly. A) she isn’t saying that.

      B) not only is no one is stopping her from saying that, SHE is in fact saying transgendered people should be stopped from saying it.

      Oppression and pain are not scarce commodities only one group in society can possess at a time. Other people facing issues does not diminish that she faced issues but she can’t seem to conceive that.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      and “being a woman” is not a zero sum game.

      any trans woman who exists does NOT make you any less of a woman, you bigot.

      and I’ve never really liked this guy so I’m not surprised that he’d side with a bigot over a marginalized group.

    • Lucy says:

      “I’m being silenced!” screamed the billionaire white woman on a global platform to an audience of millions.

    • Wilma says:

      Yeah, if Fiennes thinks she is just saying that he’s pretty clueless. If he knows that this is not exactly what she’s been saying, he is pretty awful himself.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Just for the record (I’m old, I know!), Ralph Fiennes was a known a-hole since the time Strange Days came out (I saw it in a cinema in 1996!) and this was before social media existed, heck even the internet was just barely created.

      He was the James Corden when Corden was a child…

      Not really surprised he’s defending the Chief Transphobe here.

      I totally loathe JK Rowling, she never, ever lifted a finger for domestic abuse or rape victims, she is so vile that she chose to support a cause that openly discriminates against a minority.
      Is karma on holiday when she speaks…

    • pottymouth pup says:

      Fiennes, of course, has it completely backwards. It’s Rowling who’s using her, rather formidable platform, to go after trans women for just wanting to live an authentic life as the woman they are so him making her out to be the victim shows what a truly ignorant putz he is

  2. Erin says:

    This is so sad to me. Why Ralph?!

    • shanaynay says:

      Agree with you. I used to love Ralph Fiennes, but I’m so disappointed in him. Shame on you Ralph!!!

    • NotSoSocialB says:

      Same. Another name stricken from the HGF/FD list.

    • molly says:

      Gah, none of these people have to do this! Ralph, just go be rich and successful and let JK be rich and hateful. It’s not that hard to drink water and mind your business.

    • Gelya says:

      It’s been known for years that Ralph is homophobic. He’s admitted to it in interviews. I am not surprised about his comments. I am disappointed but not surprised.

  3. Flowerlake says:

    Of all the times I was harassed, followed or called names at in a secual manner, I’m pretty sure it was never a trans person (or a woman for that matter).

    Focus on the cis men.

  4. Annabelle says:

    JK Rowling has received death threats and had people stalking her house as well as her address published. Not okay. Glad Fiennes is standing up for a woman being publicly threatened with violence.

    • C says:

      It’s funny how when you spout hate speech people tend to spout it right back to you, isn’t it?

    • girl_ninja says:

      Isn’t her home some sort of British public property that folks have known about for years? No one should be threatened with violence. She now knows what it is like for trans people to feel for their lives.

      • Rapunzel says:

        Girlninja- yes! I have pictures of her house from driving by it on a tour of Scotland. The driver pointed it out.

    • Rapunzel says:

      JK’s rhetoric gets trans people beaten, shunned, harassed, and killed. So I guess you reap what you sow.

      As for being stalked, JK is a famous figure whose house is well known. It was pointed out to me on a bus ride in Scotland during a tour. She’s been stalked for years by fans and that’s nothing to do with her words.

    • lucy2 says:

      I don’t think threats and doxxing are acceptable, and if that’s what Ralph was decrying, I’d agree with him. But he’s upset she’s getting criticism, defending her transphobic position here, saying he understands it. and that it’s not right-wing fascism. He’s wrong, as wrong as she is.

    • Maida says:

      We can agree that death threats are never acceptable AND point out that Rowling’s rants put trans people in danger. Her fixation on targeting an already vulnerable group is ugly and getting uglier by the day. Imagine what she could achieve if she spent that time and energy confronting poverty, supporting foster kids, or doing something else positive.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      NO ONE should be threatened with violence, INCLUDING TRANS PEOPLE. however, her saying bigoted things about trans people encourages violence against them.

      so, while I don’t think people should threaten her…well…FAFO as they say.

    • ChillinginDC says:

      She should not get death threats and also should stop saying that transwomen are wearing women face like Blackface and then say they are trying to erase women. She’s a hateful feminist and I am tired of her thinking she’s talking for all women everywhere.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      Rowling has all the resources in the world to protect herself. And famous friends to rush to her defense.
      Transgender people are already at elevated risks of violence and self-harm. Hatemongers like Rowling make their lives worse.
      She has ruined her legacy with her transphobia. I’ll reserve my concern for the trans people she endangers.

    • Lucy says:

      Doxxing is never okay, but neither is spouting dangerous bigotry that endangers marginalized folks to millions of people.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      Those pro-Rowling fans are re-writing history to support the garbage woman in chief.

      Her address has not been published, it has been known to many for years.. I used to live in Edinburgh and many bus drivers were telling us where her huge villa is.

      And Fiennes is as garbage as her, you reap what you sow Ralph!

  5. C says:

    He’s a chauvinist and I’m not surprised at all by this.

  6. Rapunzel says:

    “It’s just a woman saying, ‘I’m a woman and I feel I’m a woman and I want to be able to say that I’m a woman.’ And I understand where she’s coming from. Even though I’m not a woman”

    No, Ralph, it’s a woman saying “I’m a woman and your not and I don’t want you claiming to be and I’m actively going to advocate for people to deny you rights as woman.”

    Nobody’s asking JK to stop saying she’s a woman.

  7. Lana says:

    Can someone please enlighten me on what exactly JK said? I only remember she said that people who breastfeed are women (which is not very scandalous). Was there anything else? It’s truly difficult to google cause not a lot of media are repeating what she said

    • C says:

      First of all, stating that “only women breastfeed” IS problematic because plenty of trans men give birth.
      Second of all, she is never ever quiet anymore when she insists regularly online that biological sex is the only real way to “determine gender”, criticizing political bills that would make transition easier, constantly arguing that trans women are sexual predators waiting to prey on “real women”.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      She’s said A LOT, routinely inserting herself into discussions about language to include & acknowledge trans people as well as policy discussions to acknowledge that trans people exist. She wrote a whole essay about her “research,” which boils down to, trans women aren’t women. (She doesn’t really seem to get worked up about trans men.) One particular bugaboo of hers is that trans women will rape cis women if they’re allowed to share restrooms. I’m old enough to remember when bigots said the same thing about lesbians in order to keep them closeted.

  8. Ameerah M says:

    Ralph Fiennes has always been an a-hole. Just ask his ex-wife

    • QuiteContrary says:

      Plus, his name is RALPH, not Rafe. He needs to get over himself.

      • TrixC says:

        Ralph is usually pronounced as Rafe in the UK. It’s a bit like how Louis is pronounced Lou-is in America but Lou-ee in Europe.

        Feel free to disagree with his views though!

      • QuiteContrary says:

        My British’s husband has an uncle named Ralph (also British). Pronounced like Ralph.
        Maybe it’s just posh people who pronounce it Rafe.

    • AlpineWitch says:

      That’s what I posted above, I am surprised there’s been a lot of PR work to scrub some of his issues away.

  9. Well Wisher says:

    She is his friend and colleague, that is the point.
    His support goes beyond a political discussion, that is all there is.

    • C says:

      No, that’s not the point. He is intentionally misrepresenting what she is saying and has said in the past to justify why he’s still buddies with her and defend her words. He can be friends with whoever he wants but like Kaiser says, shutting up is free.

    • lunchcoma says:

      Fiennes doesn’t have problems stringing words together in other situations. If he wanted to say that she’s his friend and his colleague and that his support goes beyond a political discussion, he would have. Instead, he decided to sanitize her hateful rhetoric.

  10. lunchcoma says:

    Okay, then, he’s terf-adjacent. This goes way beyond sucking up to someone who paid him a lot of money in the past.

  11. Lizzie Bathory says:

    Jo really did turn out to be Dolores Umbridge & now Voldemort is riding to her defense.

    • SarahCS says:

      I guess now he truly is he who must not be named.

    • ML says:

      A few decades ago, I did not see that coming, but you’re right.
      It’s such a weird hill to die on: trans men and women are not a threat; they are threatened. JKR and RF need to go back to school.

  12. bisynaptic says:

    I disagree—I think this issue is deeply personal for her. Rowling sounds exactly like a deeply-closeted trans man, braying loudly about women and women’s spaces, to cover up for the fact that she doesn’t feel much like a woman, at all.
    Methinks she doth protest too much.

  13. Amy Bee says:

    Transgender people pose no threat to women. Ralph doesn’t know what he’s talking about. What JK is doing is very harmful and only shows white feminism for the danger it is.

    • Lucy says:

      Exactly. You know who IS a very real threat to cis women and trans folks every day of our lives? CIS MEN. Cis men like you, Ralph.

  14. ChillinginDC says:

    As Black people said last night, who asked Ice Cube to speak for all of us. And I say as a Black woman, who asked JK Rowling to speak for all women everywhere?

  15. PunkPrincessPhD says:

    Making death threats or threats of violence against anyone is disgusting.

    White-knighting for a TERF is also disgusting.

    Criticizing and/or calling out someone using their considerable wealth and influence to spread hate speech – not disgusting.

  16. Serena says:

    ‘Expressing opinions as a woman does not make someone “fascist”… Well if those opinion are share with *gasp* fascists then yes. Doesn’t he know there are plenty of fascist women around the world too? Some have made it to prime ministers too lately? 😂

  17. Kate says:

    He’s a middle aged white guy. This is not surprising.

  18. goofpuff says:

    On a very superficial petty note since everyone has said exactly what I also think about Ralph and JK being entitled a-holes, all those billions of Harry Potter money and she wears a dress that looks like she got it off the rack at the Walmart prom sale.

  19. Emily_C says:

    JKR gets a ton of rape and death threats, and that’s not okay.

    That said. People who are ultra concerned about her never seem to be concerned about any other women. Somehow I don’t think it’s about that. And JKR hates other cis women too. Her work is poisonous with sexual jealousy against women. But this is not a surprise. Those who hate trans women (and/or sex workers) hate all women — that’s what radical “feminism” is. They’re a right-wing movement that wants to shove us all into a box.

  20. Veronica S. says:

    At this point, Rowling has proven to get a kick out of the hate feeding frenzy, so I don’t know that Twitter is really accomplishing what it thinks it is by continuously giving her publicity responding to her. It’s disappointing she turned out to be that kind of person, but I do think people are kidding themselves if they think the extent of the backlash she received with her early comments didn’t help push her farther to the right on the issue. While there are certain things I didn’t agree with her on, a lot of her comments weren’t really hate rhetoric. They were either ill-informed, slightly outdated, or perhaps even had some validity to them in certain situations.

    IMO, there is a difference between somebody being a bad ally and being an actual enemy of a minority group, but a lot of people don’t really want to make that delineation anymore. Some of the response to her less problematic stuff WAS vile, though. People threw death and rape threats her way, and they still area in certain places. That’s not a way that opens dialogue on an issue with people who may just be ignorant, and, inevitably, it may in fact push people further toward extremism out of anger and spite. It’s a shame Rowling turned out to be one of those people, but I’m also not surprised when it happens.