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JK Rowling’s latest podcast: Author dismisses concerns trans backlash will damage her legacy

‘I never set out to upset anyone’: JK Rowling opens up about trans controversy in podcast teaser

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JK Rowling has dismissed concerns that her views on transgender rights could harm her legacy.

The first two episodes of a new podcast featuring JK Rowling as she tackles her traumatic miscarriage, Harry Potter and her controversial remarks on transgender issues have aired.

In new episodes of the podcast titled The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, when interviewer Megan Phelps-Roper asked her about her heritage, the Harry Potter author said she doesn’t think about it.

“I think you could not have misunderstood me more deeply. I don’t walk around the house thinking about my legacy, what a pompous way to live your life thinking about what my legacy will be. Anything! I will be dead, I care now, the living.

Phelps-Roper is the granddaughter of Fred Phelps, pastor of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Since leaving the church in 2012, Phelps-Roper has become a prominent critic of its philosophy and practices.

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The BBC recently received hundreds of complaints about JK Rowling’s radio discussion

Days before the new podcast aired, it was reported that the BBC had received 200 complaints after a radio host failed to challenge a guest who called Rowling “transphobic”.

Stacey Henley, a transgender woman and editor-in-chief of The Gamer, has spoken out about Rowling’s “bad views” and accused her of promoting “transphobia” and a “campaign against trans people”.

The BBC, which “must remain duly impartial” under its own guidelines, later apologized for the exchange, after listeners said it presented an “unfair characterisation” of Rowling’s views.

Tom MurrayFebruary 22, 2023 1am


Video: Lawyer on podcast says Harry Potter’s legal victories set ‘precedent’, now protects LGBT+ literature

JK Rowling’s podcast claims Harry Potter helped save LGBT+ books

Tom MurrayFebruary 22, 2023 12:01am


Podcast host suggests Harry Potter helped save LGBT+ books

In the second episode of JK Rowling’s new podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling, she and host Megan Phelps-Roper discuss the 1997 release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the negative response it received from some Christian activists.

Evangelists in the United States have attempted to squelch the popularity of the wizard story, leading to a legal battle over the issue of censorship in children’s stories.

“Extreme words were used, that I was hurting children, that these books were poison to children’s minds,” Rowling recalls in the episode titled “Burning the Witch.”

According to Phelps-Roper, Harry Potter’s legal victory set a “precedent” that now protects LGBT+ literature.

Megan Phelps-Roper JK Rowling


A 2003 legal victory over Arkansas school censorship set a precedent, says Megan Phelps-Roper

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 11pm


What else does JK Rowling discuss on the podcast?

While the podcast between JK Rowling and host Megan Phelps-Roper touches on the author’s controversial remarks related to trans people, the intimate conversation also touches on Rowling’s personal life.

Read more about the latter here:

(Getty Images)

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 10:30 pm


ContraPoints “regrets” participating in the podcast

Trans YouTuber Natalie Wynn, known as ContraPoints, has apologized for agreeing to be interviewed for the podcast. “I accepted,” she wrote on Twitter. “This was a serious error in judgement.”

In a lengthy thread, ContraPoints detailed its original intentions for doing the podcast, before concluding: “I am sorry for my participation and would not have participated if I had fully understood the nature of the project.

“I feel I’ve been used and share the feelings of other trans people who are speaking out against it.”

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 10pm


The New York Times is under fire for defending JK Rowling’s views

A New York Times op-ed defending JK Rowling’s views has reignited a war of words between the paper and its staff over coverage of transgender issues.

Staff and contributors wrote a letter this week criticizing the publication’s coverage.

The letter, addressed to The Times’ standard associate editor-in-chief, said the signatories had “serious concerns” about what they described as “editorial bias” in its coverage.


Publisher responds to staff for protesting its coverage of the issue

Inga Parkel21 February 2023 21:30


What is the podcast release schedule?

Since the podcast is a large seven-part interview, it will be published in parts.

The first two episodes released today (February 21), with the remaining chapters scheduled to be released one by one over the next five weeks.

You can hear part of it here:

JK Rowling rails against ‘black and white thinking’ in new podcast

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 21:00


Mark Hamill recently defended himself for liking a post by JK Rowling

The Star Wars actor has defended himself after becoming the center of fan ire after appreciating a tweet from JK Rowling that some users have labeled “transphobic”.

Mark Hamill and JK Rowling

(Getty Images)

“Twitter, unfortunately, is not a place for nuance,” the Star Wars actor said

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 8:30 pm


JK Rowling says her mother’s death ‘took a wrecking ball in my life’

JK Rowling opens up about the loss of her mother in her mid-twenties on the new podcast, The Witch Trials of JK Rowling.

The author of the popular Harry Potter books said the “early nineties” were a bad time for her and “infused with loss” due to her mother’s death from illness and miscarriage more than a year later .

(Getty Images)

Author Says Family Didn’t Realize His Death Was “Imminent”

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 20:00


Who is podcast host Megan Phelps-Roper?

For the podcast, Megan Phelps-Roper traveled to JK Rowling’s Edinburgh Castle and, over six days in May and August, conducted intimate interviews with the author.

But who is she and how did she land such an important interview with Rowling?

Megan Phelps-Roper is 37 years old and lives in rural South Dakota. She is best known for escaping what Louis Theroux called “America’s Most Hated Family” in his 2007 documentary about the extremist Westboro Baptist Church, led by Phelps-Roper’s grandfather, Fred Phelps.

The hate group, founded in Topeka, Kansas, picketed the funerals of soldiers and AIDS victims. He is known for his hate speech against atheists, Jews, Muslims, transgender people and numerous Christian denominations. Their theology and practices have been almost universally rejected by the Christian churches.

Phelps-Roper distanced herself from the group in 2012, thanks in large part to discovering other viewpoints on Twitter, which she had joined three years earlier to spread the church’s message.

She wrote a book about her experience, Unfollow, and is now a speaker and activist.

Inga ParkelFebruary 21, 2023 7:30 pm

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