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Transphobic Conspiracy Theorists Target Daniel Radcliffe and His (Pregnant!) Girlfriend Erin Darke

Erin Darke and Daniel Radcliffe in 2022 (Araya Doheny/Getty Images)

Well, will you look at that. Transphobes found a new way to come for Harry Potter.

Yes, some dedicated TERFs have decided that Daniel Radcliffe’s pregnant girlfriend, actress Erin Darke, is transgender. Never mind that trans women are women (so so what if she were?), never mind that Darke is currently pregnant and that’s so far not possible for a trans woman, these armchair biology detectives truly believe they can always tell.

Twitter is a haven for conspiracy theorists

This ordeal started on April 6 when author Suzanne Seddon, who was already using Twitter to push anti-vaccination conspiracy theories, tweeted a picture of Daniel Radcliffe and Erin Darke at an event and captioned it, “This is Daniel Radcliffes (Harry Potter) Girlfriend. Now what do you see?” alongside a “woozy” emoji. Because Darke is taller than Radcliffe, and because she has strong, striking features, it was very obvious what Seddon was saying she sees.

Seddon’s account has now unsurprisingly been made private, but the replies and the mean little wisecracks remain. It’s clear that Radcliffe and Darke simply living their best lives has majorly triggered some transphobes.

This is wrong on just about every conceivable level. It’s being cruel about someone’s appearance, is wildly transphobic, and also pushes ridiculous, arbitrary ideas of masculinity and femininity. (She’s tall! Deal with it!) Luckily, as the mean-spirited tweet spread further and further, people stepped in to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Many decried the original tweet

Actor Sean Biggerstaff, one of Radcliffe’s Harry Potter co-stars, tweeted his disgust at Seddon, responding to her “question” with “I see you being a lowlife.” And he wasn’t the only one with a sharp answer for her.

Plenty of people pointed out the hypocrisy of TERFs constantly claiming to be “pro-woman” but not actually caring about cis women as anything beyond a group they can weaponize against trans people.

Why are Radcliffe and Darke being targeted?

There’s a reason why TERFs have been going after Daniel Radcliffe and his loved ones, and why they’ve done it before. He, unlike his one-time associate J.K. Rowling, vocally supports trans people. That’s it! That’s the only reason beyond, “Rowling and her awful fans will grab onto any target if it lets them spread more hate.”

A few days before that conspiracy theory about Darke slimed its way onto Twitter, Radcliffe moderated a LGBTQ+ youth roundtable for the Trevor Project. In the trailer for the show, he says, “There are some people in the world who are just not trying to engage with this conversation in any kind of good faith. I think a lot of the time it’s just because people don’t know a young trans person so there’s just this theoretical idea about this in their head.”

His decision to use his platform for good is clearly making TERFs angry and they’re taking it out on Darke—the irony of that apparently being lost on them. Will any of the “Won’t someone please think of the Real Women(tm)” crowd or even J.K. Rowling herself use their own massive platforms to denounce this kind of misogynist behavior? I think we all know the answer to that one.

(featured image: Araya Doheny/Getty Images)

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Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.