“Succession” star Brian Cox openly supports transgender rights, but he’s also adamant that critics like J.K. Rowling, whose comments have been deemed transphobic by some, should be allowed to speak their minds.
The 76-year-old Scottish actor said he was “very proud” of new legislation in his homeland, which would allow transgender-identifying people to change their legal gender without a medical diagnosis requirement. He further called the new law, which the British government vowed to block, “long-needed,” per The Hollywood Reporter.
But when asked about Rowling, Cox said he wasn’t thrilled with how she’s been vilified in the media and among other celebrities.
“I don’t like the way she’s been treated, actually,” the Emmy award winner said. “I think she’s entitled to her opinion; she’s entitled to say what she feels. As a woman, she’s very much entitled to say what she feels about her own body, and there’s nobody better to say that, as a woman.”
“So, I do feel that people have been a bit high-and-mighty about their own attitude towards J.K. Rowling, quite frankly,” he continued.
Cox has said something similar about Rowling before. During an interview with Piers Morgan last May, he called the backlash against the billionaire author “deeply unjust.”
He further stated that modern-day cancel culture is “a kind of modern day McCarthyism.”
“It is a kind of raid on people’s sensibilities in order to reduce them and make them … I don’t know, there is so much hypocrisy in the whole thing,” the actor said.
“I find the whole thing completely hypocritical. I am not religious but there is a thing in the Bible where it says, ‘Let he or she without sin cast the first stone,’ and there seems to be a lot of casting of stones. And it is like a virus.”
“The hypocritical notion of ‘I am being liberal’ but actually you are being fascist and people should just stop it and behave themselves,” Cox concluded.
While most “Harry Potter” franchise stars have distanced themselves from Rowling and sided with the trans activists, at least one other actor has spoken up in her defense. Ralph Fiennes, who played the villain Lord Voldemort in “Harry Potter,” said he was uncomfortable with how Rowling was being treated.
“I can’t understand the vitriol directed at her,” Fiennes said in 2021. “I can understand the heat of an argument, but I find this age of accusation and the need to condemn irrational. I find the level of hatred that people express about views that differ from theirs, and the violence of language towards others, disturbing.”