“Harry Potter” creator J.K. Rowling will be telling her side of the story as part of a new podcast called “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling.”
The 57-year-old British author has become an extremely controversial figure in mainstream media and with some fans and critics over recent years. Though Rowling considers herself a liberal feminist, she disagrees with radical left-wing gender theory, which in turn made her an enemy of transgender activists. Now, the best-selling author will explain the story from her perspective.
A sneak preview of the podcast was just released. “What has interested me in recent years, particularly on social media [is when fans say], ‘You’ve ruined your legacy. Oh, you could have been beloved forever, but you chose to say this,’” Rowling says during the trailer. “And I think: ‘You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.’”
“I never set out to upset anyone,” she says. “However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.”
“The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” will premiere February 21. It’s hosted by Megan Phelps-Roper, who was raised in a family that attended the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Phelps-Roper has since denounced the church and explained that Rowling had agreed to speak to her after reading her memoir, “Unfollow.”
The podcast description page calls the project “an audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author,” featuring Rowling speaking with “unprecedented candor and depth about the controversies surrounding her—from book bans to debates on gender and sex.”
The controversy exploded in 2020 when Rowling mocked an article headline which referred to women as “people who menstruate.”
“‘People who menstruate,’” Rowling responded on Twitter. “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” she went on. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Though Rowling received an intense backlash for the statement, she never backed down beyond saying she doesn’t hate anyone.
“I have no irrational fear of or hatred towards trans people in the slightest – as, God knows, I’ve said so many times,” the “Harry Potter” author said during an interview in December 2022. “But if you’re going to say it’s ‘hate’ not to believe in a gendered soul, then we cannot have a discussion. We can’t. There’s nowhere to go. The tactic has been no debate, but it is changing.”