Miriam Margolyes vows to arbitrate between Emma Watson and JK Rowling ‘if anyone asks me’

Miriam Margolyes gives opinion on Harry and Meghan in 2020

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Miriam Margolyes, 80, has entered the discussion surrounding trans rights, in which her Harry Potter co-star Emma Watson and the franchise’s creator JK Rowling have taken opposing stances. Emma has been outspoken on trans issues and appeared to snub the author at the BAFTA Awards earlier this year.

She said she is “here for all the witches” while presenting an award at the event, in an apparent reference to Rowling’s criticism of Labour Leader Keir Starmer saying “trans women are women”.

The author had already faced criticism two years ago when she mocked an article’s use of the phrase “people who menstruate”, instead of “women”.

Now Miriam has insisted she would arbitrate between Emma and Rowling in the debate “if anybody asked me”.

And despite the “vituperation” Rowling has been subjected to, Miriam insisted the author is “a generous woman”.

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She said: “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.

“But I think the vituperation that 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,” the Professor Sprout actress added to this week’s Radio Times.

Miriam previously spoke out on the backlash Rowling has faced over her Twitter posts on transgender women.

She explained the “hugely complicated” circumstances Rowling had faced before making the remarks.

Miriam opened up on the subject back in 2020, as she recalled a meeting with indigenous transgender people in Australia.

The actress admitted that she always “thought” someone who wanted to “become a woman” would have their genitals removed.

Speaking to the aforementioned publication at the time, Miriam explained:  “I know I’m a lesbian and I know I’m a woman, so I’ve sorted it out. But if you are on the way between one sex and another, how do you decide when you’ve arrived?

“It’s hugely complicated,” the Call The Midwife star said.

Miriam concluded: “Look at poor JK Rowling. She’s dived into the pool and got very wet.”

Any rumours of a rift between Rowling and the Harry Potter cast have been rejected by Luna Lovegood actress Evanna Lynch.

Appearing on GB News earlier this year, Evanna said: “I think there’s things we don’t all agree with and don’t understand.”

Evanna stressed that despite their differing opinions they all respect each other.

She continued: “I’ve talked to all the cast, they all have great respect for her even if they don’t agree with her beliefs. I really strongly disagree with the narrative that there’s a rift,” she added.

The star went on: “She has her beliefs and she’s doing her thing. We all have strong beliefs and it’s been a very difficult conversation.

“I want there to be healing and I don’t want us to keep fighting, so I reject that narrative that there’s been a cold shoulder.”

Read the full interview in this week’s Radio Times – out now.

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