Of all the things J.K. Rowling could possibly want to change about her legacy, it would be … Harry Potter’s scar? Rowling was tricked earlier this week by Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, known for their celebrity pranks, into believing she was speaking to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reported the Rowling Library. Rowling thought she was on a Zoom call with President Zelenskyy to talk about the war in Ukraine and her charity work with the country; the camera was reportedly off for the audio-only call on the comedians’ end. She was not aware that she was being recorded as it was planned as a private talk.
In the edited video, the pranksters referred to several of Rowling’s works, like Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They asked if she would change Potter’s famous lightning-bolt scar to resemble a Ukrainian trident, as the scar resembled a Z that is on Russian tanks. “I will look at that. It might be good for me to do something with that myself on social media, because I think that will get into the newspapers,” replied Rowling as she took notes during the call. They alluded to Rowling’s transphobic comments by asking her about Dumbledore’s sexuality, who she did confirm is still gay. They then asked Rowling who Dumbledore “had slept with” and added on, “hopefully not with a transgender [person].” She then was introduced to three people referred to as “The Order of the Ukrainian Phoenix.”
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Rowling’s spokesperson stated that the prank was “distasteful” and that, “J.K. Rowling was approached to talk about her extensive charitable work in Ukraine, supporting children and families who have been affected by the current conflict in the region. The video, which has been edited, is a distorted representation of the conversation.” Vovan and Lexus have pranked celebrities and politicians including Elton John, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and George W. Bush. They have also targeted high-profile public figures who have been critical of Russia, leaving some to believe they are state actors. The duo ended the interview by giving themselves a shout-out, asking Rowling to say hello to “Vovan and Lexus.”