JK Rowling has been “hounded” by jealous people, Helena Bonham Carter has said.
The actor, who played Bellatrix Lestrange in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels, defended its creator who has been repeatedly attacked for her gender-critical views.
Rowling has been vilified for speaking out about her concerns that making it easier to legally change gender would pose a risk to the safety of biological women.
Speaking of the abuse in an interview, Bonham Carter said: “It’s horrendous, a load of b-------. I think she has been hounded. It’s been taken to the extreme, the judgmentalism of people.”
Bonham Carter told The Sunday Times Magazine that Rowling was “allowed her opinion, particularly if she’s suffered abuse”.
In June 2020 Rowling wrote an essay to explain why she had spoken out on sex and gender issues, and revealed she had suffered a serious sexual assault in her 20s.
Bonham Carter added: “Everybody carries their own history of trauma and forms their opinions from that trauma and you have to respect where people come from and their pain.”
However, she argued that it was due to Rowling’s success that she has been so hounded.
After trans activists staged a protest outside her home last year and revealed her address online, Rowling revealed that she has received “enough death threats to paper my house”.
Bonham Carter said: “If she hadn’t been the most phenomenal success, the reaction wouldn’t be so great. So I think there’s a lot of envy unfortunately and the need to tear people down that motors a lot of this cancelling. And schadenfreude.”
The actor, who has worked closely with disgraced Harvey Weinstein and directors Roman Polanski and Woody Allen, blamed cancel culture – which she “hates” – on a lack of understanding by the perpetrators.
She questioned banning “a genius for their sexual practices”, as she added: “There would be millions of people who if you looked closely enough at their personal life you would disqualify them.
“You can’t ban people. I hate cancel culture. It has become quite hysterical and there’s a kind of witch hunt and a lack of understanding.”