JK Rowling pranked by Russians on Zoom pretending to be Ukraine’s President Zelensky

Some kind of sorcery is afoot

JK Rowling believed she was on a Zoom call with the President of Ukraine. She was not.


We sure as hell didn’t have this on our 2022 bingo card, but here you have it. 


Once enjoyed author and professional good mood disruptor J.K. Rowling has fallen victim to a hoax Zoom call. 


The whole thing was orchestrated, reports suggest, by a Russian ‘prankster’ duo who tricked her into believing she was having a Zoom call with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky.


In the video (short clip below), Rowling was tricked by Vovan and Lexus, a duo ‘infamous’ for prank-calling celebrities, with previous victims including Elton John, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and George W. Bush.


Indiewire reported that Vovan and Lexus have previously been assumed to be state actors, since they regularly target those criticizing Russian foreign policy, although we’re yet to get any clarity on that at the time of writing. 


Here’s a quick clip, with more to follow:


According to Hollywood Reporter, Rowling’s spokesperson called the hoax “distasteful” – and on that point only, though we are loathe to find common ground with the controversial author, given the situation in Ukraine, we do agree. 


However they also claim the video had been “distorted” by editing to inaccurately “represent” the conversation. Hmm.


Taking aim at Rowling’s divisive stance on LGBTQ+ issues and aggressively transphobic social media well-publicized anti-trans sentiments, the duo asked the author whether Professor Dumbledore was gay, to which she confirmed with a yes from her perspective.


They also asked who he (Dumbledore) slept with, adding “Hopefully not with a transgender,” at which point they both laughed, as though what had just been said wasn’t hugely offensive. Ughhhhhh.

Of course, Rowling supporters will inevitably jump to defend that particular moment as being no more than a jibe, from her ivory tower, at press coverage she’s received for speaking negatively about Trans issues on social media. 


However, what many online are saying is clear from the clip, is that the author – who has yet to acknowledge Pride month on Twitter but has found time in June to post some anti-trans sentiment – does not see trans people as being of equal value.


Innumerable people online pointed out that, had it been a joke aimed at a cisgender woman or at any other minority group, it wouldn’t have come off too funny. At all. 

Elsewhere in the call, the pranksters brought up Lumos – Rowling’s charity partner in Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region, set-up to help support children and families affected by the war with Russia.  


Rowling, when she’s not been spewing posting anti-trans hate propaganda on it, has used her Twitter account in recent weeks to mobilize charity efforts on behalf of the organization.


They said, “I want to clarify where you are sending the money that Lumos has collected … we want to buy a lot of weapons and missiles with your money to destroy Russian troops, I hope you are all for that,” 

Rowling replied, “We’ll look after the kids but I really want Ukraine to have all of the arms it needs.”

POV: You are JK Rowling looking at your laptop. Ukraine President Zelensky (Image: GETTY)

In the 12-minute video shared to YouTube, which you’ll find below, the man who Rowling believed was President Zelensky is only heard by voice and is not seen on camera. 


In March, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited the ‘cancellation’ of JK Rowling as an example of how ‘the west’ are trying to ‘cancel’ Russia, a comparison she quickly separated herself from.


However Rowling isn’t immune to a good separation herself, as all the main Harry Potter cast members have distanced themselves from the once-loved writer due to her aggressively anti-trans values.


In fact, just today (June 23) it was reported that Emma Watson said she would only return to the franchise “if JK Rowling is not involved in any way.”

Full clip below along with some internet reactions:




The Zoom in full: