In response to criticism of his decision to take a role in Hogwarts Legacy (opens in new tab), voice actor Sebastian Croft has affirmed his support for trans rights in a statement posted on Twitter.
Croft was announced (opens in new tab) last week as the actor providing one of the player character voices in Hogwarts Legacy. As with all things related to Harry Potter, it’s a fairly high-profile role, but author JK Rowling’s increasingly strident transphobia has blanketed the game in controversy, and the actor faced criticism from a number of people on social media for taking part in the game.
“I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with,” Croft tweeted (opens in new tab) in response to one callout. “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 far more now than I did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3. I’m really sorry to anyone hurt by this announcement. There is no LGB without the T.”
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Croft’s role in Hogwarts Legacy is particularly galling to online critics because of his high-profile “allyship” with the LGBTQ+ community. In June 2022, for instance, 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 Heartstopper (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 widely praised for its portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters: Paste Magazine, for instance, called it “an open-armed embrace for queer youth,” and said it “lays the strong foundations of what you 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, reminding everyone that Queer has always been here.100% of the money will go to helping queer refugees fleeing persecution. Click the link 💖🏳️🌈🏳️⚧️https://t.co/FgjpzExj27 pic.twitter.com/WjT7UPZN4PJune 17, 2022
Most of the responses to Croft’s statement are positive, although not everyone is convinced. A few point out that Rowling has been vocally transphobic for years now and say that even if he somehow wasn’t aware of that, he should’ve looked into it before he took the job; naturally, there are others who criticize his statement for what they perceive as a cave-in to public opinion.
Those voices are relatively few in number, but they illustrate the challenge facing Hogwarts Legacy and all involved with it. Warner Bros. has tried to distance the game from Rowling, but the author’s relentless anti-trans outbursts have, for a great number of people, utterly poisoned her legacy and everything attached to it. Simon Pegg (opens in new tab), for instance, faced similar negative reactions to the news that he’s voicing Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black in the game.
Croft is far from the first actor involved a Harry Potter project to speak out in opposition to Rowling’s transphobia: Harry Potter film 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.
Despite the controversy, though, Hogwarts Legacy seems likely to be a hit—with just over three weeks to go before its February 10 release, it remains the number-one wishlisted game on Steam.