• 'Matilda' actress Mara Wilson has slammed J.K. Rowling's transphobic comments online. (Getty Images North America)
"What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?"
By
Samuel Leighton-Dore

27 Dec 2019 - 12:07 PM  UPDATED 27 Dec 2019 - 3:34 PM

Voice actress and writer Mara Wilson, best remembered for her childhood roles in movies including Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire, has taken a stand against Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who last week tweeted her support for Maya Forstater, a British researcher who lost her job following a series of transphobic tweets.

According to The Guardian, Forstater's employers, a think tank called Center for Global Development, chose not to renew her contract, citing her “offensive and exclusionary language". Forstater disputed the dismissal, raising more than $160,000 in order to fund legal action.

However, Forstater lost out in court, resulting in a groundswell of support from so-called TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminists), including Rowling.

The British author caused anger among her LGBTIQ+ fans when she tweeted: “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

However, Wilson, who is bisexual, hit back, tweeting in response: “What, exactly, is to be gained by using your platform to be cruel and exclusionary to one of the world’s most vulnerable populations?”

The former child actress, who has over 500,000 followers and recently released a book called Where Am I Now?, went on to note that she has “never gotten more hate” online than when defending members of the trans community.

“But I see no reason to exclude or be hateful to one of the most vulnerable populations,” she continued. “Trans women are women, trans men are men, that does not take away from my rights and being who I am."

She added: “I will probably be muting this, really don’t get how trans people being who they are and who they want to be takes away from feminism and threatens women. I’m sure there are some trans people who are awful, because there are all kinds of people who are awful.”

Fans of Wilson soon began thanking her for standing up for trans people.

"Thank you @MaraWilson," one wrote. "Too few of my childhood heroes have stood the test of time."

Another tweeted: "JK ruined my childhood today but the fact that Mara is such an eloquent feminist restored it. Thanks 'Matilda'. You’re awesome."

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