In response to criticism of his decision to star in Hogwarts legacy (opens in new tab)voice actor Sebastian Croft confirmed his support for trans rights in a statement on Twitter.
Croft wash announced (opens in new tab) last week as the actor who provided one of the player’s character voices in Hogwarts Legacy. As with all things Harry Potter, it’s a fairly high-profile role, but author JK Rowling’s increasingly glaring transphobia has shrouded the play in controversy, and the actor was criticized by a number of people on social media for taking part in the game. .
“I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, when Harry Potter was just the magical world I grew up with,” Croft tweeted (opens in new tab) in response to one call. “This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling’s views. I believe wholeheartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men.
“I know a lot more now than I did three years ago and I hope to learn a lot more over the next three years. I’m really sorry for anyone hurt by this announcement. There’s no LGB without the T.”
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Croft’s role in Hogwarts Legacy is particularly vexing to online critics because of his high-profile “alliance” with the LGBTQ+ community. For example, in June 2022, he unveiled a “Queer was always here” t-shirt in support of the Choose Love and Rainbow Railroad charities.
He also stars in the acclaimed Netflix series Heart stopper (opens in new tab), an “uplifting LGBTQ+ drama about teen friendship and young romance” based on a webcomic and graphic novel of the same name. Heartstopper has been critically acclaimed for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters: Paste magazinefor example, called it “an open-arms embrace for queer youth,” and said it “lays the strong foundation of what one can only hope will be the uplifting and inclusive depictions of queer characters for the next generation of viewers.”
To raise money for @chooselove and @RainbowRailroad, I designed a t-shirt with two gay dinosaurs kissing, to remind everyone that Queer has been around forever. 100% of the money goes to helping queer refugees fleeing persecution. Click the link 💖🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️https://t.co/FgjpzExj27 pic.twitter.com/WjT7UPZN4PJune 17, 2022
Most reactions to Croft’s statement are positive, although not everyone is convinced. Some point out that Rowling has been vocally transphobic for years, saying that even if he somehow didn’t know about it, he should have looked into it before taking the job; of course there are others who criticize his statement for what they see as a collapse of public opinion.
Those voices are relatively few in number, but they illustrate the challenge facing Hogwarts Legacy and everyone involved. Warner Bros. has tried to distance herself from Rowling’s game, but the author’s relentless anti-trans outbursts have utterly poisoned her legacy and everything associated with it for a large number of people. Simon Pegg (opens in new tab)for example, received similar negative reactions to news of him voicing Hogwarts Headmaster, Phineas Nigellus Black, in the game.
Croft is far from the first actor involved in a Harry Potter project to speak out against Rowling’s transphobia: Harry Potter movie leads Daniel Radcliffe (opens in new tab), Rupert Grint (opens in new tab)and Emma Watson (opens in new tab) have all made statements in support of trans rights in recent years.
However, despite the controversy, Hogwarts Legacy looks likely to be a hit – with just over three weeks to go before its February 10 release, it remains the number one wishlist game on steam.