‘Harry Potter’ Screenwriter Steve Kloves Speaks Out on J.K. Rowling’s Anti-Trans Views (EXCLUSIVE)

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Steve Kloves, “Harry Potter” screenwriter and “Fantastic Beasts” producer, has broken his silence on “Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s controversial statements about transgender identity.

“Our diversity is our strength,” Kloves says in an exclusive statement to Variety. “In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that transgender women and men, and people who are non-binary, feel safe and accepted for who they are. It seems very little to ask.”

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Kloves is the latest high-profile figure involved in the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” movies to speak out in support of trans people and trans rights, and in opposition to Rowling’s controversial tweets and a follow-up essay about trans identity that have left many of her fans baffled, shocked, and deeply distressed.

“I want trans women to be safe,” Rowling said in a essay she posted to her website on June 10. “At the same time, I do not want to make natal [i.e. cisgender] girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman … then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

“Harry Potter” film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, “Fantastic Beasts” star Eddie Redmayne, and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” star Noma Dumezweni — who originated the role of the adult Hermione Granger in the two-part stage play — have all publicly expressed robust support for trans identity.

“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote in an essay posted to the website of the Trevor Project, a non-profit dedicated to crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ people. “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 [Rowling] or I.”

GLAAD, the LGBTQ media watchdog organization, also issued a direct challenge to any organization affiliated with Rowling to publicly repudiate her views.

“A generation raised on J.K.’s own books about embracing differences is now making their voices loud and clear and if she refuses dialogue, then companies that partner with her should tell the community where they stand,” GLAAD head of celebrity talent Anthony Ramos said. “Studios, networks, and brands affiliated with J.K. Rowling owe it to their transgender employees and consumers to speak out against her inaccurate and hurtful comments.”

Both Universal Parks — which houses the Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas in Florida, California, and Japan — and “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” studio Warner Bros. have released statements in response to Rowling’s views, but neither company mentioned Rowling or transgender people by name.

Kloves and Rowling have maintained a longstanding professional relationship for nearly 20 years, ever since Kloves — who wrote the scripts for 1989’s “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and 2000’s “Wonder Boys” — was hired to adapt Rowling’s first “Potter” novel for the 2001 feature “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Kloves went on to write the screenplays for seven of the eight “Harry Potter” movies (only skipping 2007’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”).

Kloves is also a producer on Rowling’s spin-off “Fantastic Beasts” movie series. Rowling wrote the screenplay to the first two films — 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and 2018’s “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” — herself. But after “Crimes of Grindelwald” was poorly received by critics and significantly underperformed at the box office, Kloves stepped in to co-write the third “Fantastic Beasts” film with Rowling.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced “Fantastic Beasts 3” to shut down production in Iceland barely after it started. It is still unclear when it will start up again.

A representative for Warner Bros. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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