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JK Rowling says she was bullied off a Harry Potter forum she joined under a pseudonym

Author said she was told she was ‘clearly an idiot who doesn’t know anything’

Ellie Harrison
Tuesday 28 February 2023 10:28 GMT
JK Rowling feared ex-husband would 'burn first Harry Potter manuscript’

JK Rowling has said she was bullied off a Harry Potter forum by fans who had no idea who she really was.

The author of the wizarding franchise entered a chatroom at the turn of the millenium anonymously while she was writing the fourth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Speaking on the podcast The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, she said: “I chose a random name that was not a Potter related name, as I was almost scared that I would somehow self-reveal.”

Rowling said she shared a “very bland” opinion about Harry Potter and “got rounded on by users who told me in no uncertain terms to get out”.

The author said she was told that she wasn’t “familiar in that room, and that I’m clearly an idiot who doesn’t know anything”.

“I left,” she said. “And I was thinking, I’ve written three and a half books where bullying is such a theme from the very first page, where bullying – and authoritarian behaviour – is held to be one of the worst of human ills, and look what just happened, from these people who call themselves such fans of this franchise.”

Rowling continued: “I didn’t care. I’m a pretty robust person. But what if I’d been some 12-year-old who was excited to go into this room, and was immediately, caustically chastised for not belonging?

JK Rowling at the film premiere of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ (PA Archive)

“They just kicked someone out because they were new. I thought that was so interesting, that you’re passionate about these books and yet, in the course of living, you are behaving in a way that I depict as one of the worst and most stupid human behaviours.”

Rowling discussed trolling in the third episode of the podcast, which came out on Tuesday. In the first episode of the podcast, presented by former Westboro Baptist Church member Megan Phelps-Roper, Rowling spoke about her experiences of domestic abuse.

Read the biggest talking points from the first two episodes here.

Rowling also addressed topics including her traumatic miscarriage, Harry Potter, and her controversial remarks on transgender issues.

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