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‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Voice Actor Speaks Out Against Transphobia Following Backlash

Sebastian Croft

People are jumping off the Hogwarts Legacy train, and one of the voice actors claims that he only got on it because he didn’t know where it was headed.

Did he mistakenly wander through a wall at King’s Cross and end up at Platform 9 and 3/4? Possibly.

Voice actor Sebastian Croft, who provides one of the voices for the player character in Hogwarts Legacy, has recently come under fire from fans due to his involvement with the game. Why? Because Hogwarts Legacy is part of the … well … legacy of transphobic author J.K. Rowling. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I wonder if you have been living in the Forbidden Forest with the centaurs because Rowling has been espousing her transphobic views on Twitter for years. It’s hard to claim ignorance of her toxic point of view, but that is what Croft is currently doing.

So … what did Sebastian Croft say?

In response to fan criticism, Croft recently tweeted that he 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,” and that he accepted the role “long before [he] was aware of J.K. Rowling’s views.” Croft then went on to affirm that “trans women are women and trans men are men.”

And you know what? This might very well have been the case. It’s possible that Croft, who was still a teenager when he accepted the role, may have jumped at the opportunity to voice a character in a video game that serves as a prequel for a series that he and millions of other people loved without looking into the sociopolitical views of the creator of that series. Croft issued another statement saying that he knows “far more now than [he] did 3 years ago, and hope to learn far more in the next 3,” apologizing for his decision, and adding “there is no LGB without the T.”

Fans are still pissed, and understandably so. Croft has been an outspoken LGBTQ+ ally, even going so far as to design merch in support of the community. In June 2022, he created a “queer was always here” t-shirt in support of the Choose Love and Rainbow Railroad charities. He also stars in the Netflix series Heartstopper, a queer romance drama based on a popular webcomic of the same name. No doubt fans feel that he is, at best, disappointingly ignorant of J.K. Rowling’s views, and at worst, willing to overlook them in exchange for a lead role in a high profile video game.

And he’s not the only one

Croft is not the first actor involved in a Harry Potter project to express support of the trans community. The lead actors of the Harry Potter series—Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson—have all publicly denounced J.K. Rowling’s bigoted views, as have many other actors attached to Rowling’s work. However, they were cast in the Harry Potter series decades ago, before anyone knew the true extent of Rowling’s bigotry. To say that Croft and the lead actors of the Harry Potter series were in a similar position of ignorance is to make a false equivalency. In this day and age, all one has to do is Google “Harry Potter” and tales of Rowling’s anti-trans rhetoric follow closely behind.

Croft is also not the first actor to face criticism for his involvement with a Harry Potter project after Rowling’s views came to light. Simon Pegg is currently facing a similar fan backlash for his involvement in Hogwarts Legacy for his in-game portrayal of Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black. What the fuck, Simon?

Disappointingly, Rowling’s abhorrent views on the subject of trans people have done little to sway the general public from supporting the game. As of now, Hogwarts Legacy is the #1 most wish-listed game on Steam. While J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans views are widely known, they do not appear to be widely condemned. It’s also possible that fans of the series wish to simply divorce the art from the artist. After all, some of the best additions to the Harry Potter universe have come from the contributions of fans, and many fans wish to oust Rowling from her own “Hogwarts legacy.”

So, how are we to feel about Sebastian Croft?

That’s up to you, but if you want my two galleons on the subject, here it is: It sucks. It sucks that Sebastian Croft took this role. It sucks that we can never be sure exactly why he did it, either. Again, it’s truly possible that a 17- or 18-year-old Croft simply jumped at the opportunity to work on a major game when asked and didn’t want to look a gift Hippogriff in the mouth.

It’s also possible that he took the role for the money and the acclaim and didn’t really give a shit that Rowling is a bigot. This latter option seems less likely to me, though. I mean, the kid is basically a queer icon. He’s the lead in Heartstopper, a landmark queer youth series, and he has a literal t-shirt line in support of the queer community. As for his own sexuality, he has not disclosed anything for the general public, but it seems less likely that he is a “raging hetero bigot” living under the guise of a cuddly, queer-friendly kid.

To take a more cynical point of view, it would be against Croft’s self-interest to appear in this game. It undermines his support for and from the queer community, which is only going to hurt his career and his finances. And maybe he was written a fat check from the Hogwarts Legacy team to appear in the game, but even if the money was good, a stack of cash now isn’t worth his queer-centric career drying up in the future.

To me, this unfortunate situation seems best explained by Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance.” It seems most likely that Croft simply made an ignorant decision, but like malice, ignorance is also capable of great harm. I hope that Croft learns that lesson.

(featured image: Gareth Cattermole, BFC / Getty Images for BFC)

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