In a newly released podcast trailer, J.K. Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” series, is addressing claims that her views are transphobic. Rowling stated that she never intended to offend anyone, despite the criticism she has received, and is intrigued by the reactions of her fans on social media.
She expressed her frustration with comments from some fans, who claim that she has ruined her legacy by taking a particular stance, stating that they could not have misunderstood her more profoundly.
This is not the first time that Rowling has attempted to clarify her opinions, which she feels were misinterpreted. In June 2020, she published an extensive essay on her website titled “J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues.” The essay received significant backlash, and several “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” actors, including Emma Watson and Eddie Redmayne, spoke out in support of the transgender community.
The upcoming podcast, “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling,” is produced by the Free Press, an independent media company founded by Bari Weiss, a New York Times op-ed writer who resigned from the paper in 2020. Weiss claimed that she was bullied by her colleagues for her “Wrongthink” and posted a scathing letter online.
The Free Press has described the upcoming podcast as an audio documentary that will explore some of the most contentious conflicts of our time, focusing on the life and career of J.K. Rowling, the world’s most successful author. Host Megan Phelps-Roper will engage in a candid and in-depth conversation with Rowling about the controversies surrounding her, including book bans and debates on gender and sex. The podcast aims to examine the forces driving this moment in history by featuring interviews with journalists, historians, clinicians, and both supporters and critics of Rowling.
In the podcast trailer, Rowling states that she did not intend to upset anyone and was willing to relinquish her pedestal. The podcast is hosted by Phelps-Roper, a former spokesperson for the Westboro Baptist Church, notorious for its extreme intolerance of the LGBTQ+ community. According to her biography, Phelps-Roper left religious extremism in 2012 and has used her experiences to collaborate with schools on anti-bullying campaigns, law enforcement organizations on deradicalization, and tech companies on the intersection of safety, free speech, and the value of dialogue across ideological divides.
Starting next week, “The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling” will be available on several audio platforms, including Spotify and Apple Music.