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Rupert Everett, 62, has told Piers Morgan that the treatment of Harry Potter author JK Rowling by some trans activists “feels like the Stasi”. In a wide-ranging interview on Talk TV’s Piers Morgan Uncensored, Everett told Morgan, “I think it feels incredibly repressive. I don’t think it manages to achieve the aims that it’s after.

“I’ve never met JK Rowling for example, and I’ve never read her books but I’m willing to bet that before this all happened she was not someone who is anti-transsexual, no, not remotely…but she might easily be now.”

Everett also addressed the 2018 controversy over Scarlett Johansson’s casting as a trans man in Rub & Tug, the story of Dante “Tex” Gill (born Lois Jean Gill), the head of a US crime syndicate who identified as a man and ran a string of massage parlours as a front for prostitution. 

Following complaints from trans activists that the role of Gill should not have been given to a “cis” actress, Johansson withdrew from the role and the film was not made. Everett told Morgan: “People forget that Hollywood is a business. So for example, when Scarlett Johansson was stopped from playing a trans role, there simply wasn’t a trans actress at that point big enough to sustain a 50–60 million dollar movie.

“I found that was a mistake of the trans community because there were probably lots of other trans roles in the film that would have been played by trans actresses and Scarlett Johansson wasn’t going to be doing some portraits that was anti-trans. So I felt it was slightly blinkered attitude.”

Scarlett Johannson withdrew stepped down from playing the role of a trans man in 2018.

Everett, who rose to fame in the 1984 drama Another Country, a gay public-school drama, has preciously said that coming out harmed his Hollywood career. He told Morgan, “I don’t think gay actors should just play the gay roles. I think that the gay actors should be able to play the straight roles too, I think some straight guys played great gay roles.”

He continued, “I think the question is more ‘Why can’t gay actors play straight roles?… We shouldn’t be making rules about this. Yes, of course. It’s great for gay actors who’ve had quite a hard time, you know historically, to be playing more roles to be getting into the game.” 

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