J.K. Rowling smiles against a dark blue background.

I Need To Know What ‘Very Bland’ Opinion Got J.K. Rowling Kicked Out of a Harry Potter Forum

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling, the podcast in which one of the richest people on Earth explains how she’s been victimized by a violently oppressed minority, contains an intriguing anecdote: Rowling claims that she once joined a Harry Potter fan forum under a pseudonym and posted an opinion that got her kicked out.

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Rowling claims that she joined a Harry Potter chatroom and expressed what she calls a “very bland” opinion on the franchise. She says she “got rounded on by users who told me in no uncertain terms to get out.”

Here’s what Rowling had to say about the experience:

I left [the chatroom]. 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 behavior—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.

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 behaviors.

The question on everyone’s mind, of course, is what that “very bland” opinion might have been.

J.K. Rowling’s opinions are anything but bland

Look, we’ve all had bad experiences with overzealous fandoms. Do you like She-Hulk? Do you think Grogu is overrated? Uh oh, turns out you’re Satan! That’s why, on its surface, Rowling’s story might seem similar to other creators who have gone undercover to interact with their fans. Fans can be weird jerks sometimes, it’s true!

But come on. This is J.K. “Queen of the Rabid TERFs” Rowling we’re talking about. What was the opinion she shared!? What did she say that didn’t just get her dunked on by her own fans, but swiftly kicked out of the chatroom?

What was it, Joanne!? What did you say!?

Based on her various views that have come out over the years, maybe it was a “very bland” opinion similar to these:

  • All of Sub-Saharan Africa, which has a combined population of over a billion people, only needs one wizarding school.
  • Rowling should be able to write whatever she wants about Native people without ever consulting with them or respecting their cultures or histories.
  • The fact that all the gold in the wizarding world is controlled by goblin bankers is totally fine and unproblematic.
  • You know those fans who see Harry Potter, the story about a boy who leaves an abusive home to find a secret world where he fits in and can live as his true self, as an allegory for being trans? They don’t matter.

Rowling’s reaction to the incident is telling, because it falls exactly in line with her imperious and condescending attitude toward any criticism of racism, antisemitism, and transphobia in the things she writes or says. Ideas that might seem bland to Rowling tend to be utterly noxious and offensive to reasonable people, but Rowling is rich and powerful enough that she doesn’t think she’s accountable to marginalized groups.

The fact that she’s painting these fans as bullies, instead of taking a moment to reflect on whether or not she might have said something out of line, is also on brand for her. Rowling, who has a reputation for going after anyone who speaks out against her bigotry, doesn’t seem to know what bullying is.

We may never find out what exactly Rowling said that got her kicked out of that chatroom, but damn, I would love to know.

Or maybe I don’t want to know. Maybe it’s a hidden blessing that Rowling isn’t subjecting the rest of us to whatever she said all over again.

(via The Independent, featured image: John Phillips/Getty Images)


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Author
Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>