J.K. Rowling Criticizes 'Distasteful Hoax' by Russian Pranksters' Fake Video Call With Ukraine President

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J.K. Rowling is calling out the Russian pranksters for their "distasteful hoax" after they tricked her into believing she was on a video call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

In a statement to ET, Rebecca Salt of the Harry Potter author's public relations team confirmed that Rowling fell victim to the prank that produced a 12-minute video where she and the pranksters discussed characters in her Harry Potter books and how best she can support Ukraine's efforts on the ground.

"We can confirm that J.K. Rowling was a victim of a distasteful hoax video call by Russian pranksters, Vovan and Lexus, posing on camera as Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy," the statement read. "J.K. Rowling was approached to talk about her extensive charitable work in Ukraine through her charity Lumos, 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."

In the video call held on Zoom, one of the pranksters brought up Harry Potter's forehead scar, a lightning bolt, that the pranksters said resembled a "Z" symbol. That symbol has been carved or sprayed onto Russian military tanks and weapons in support of the invasion.

The pranksters asked Rowling if there was any way she could change that symbol into a more pro-Ukraine symbol. The author said she would "look into that."

The killing curse in the Harry Potter franchise was also brought up, when the pranksters said they would soon begin writing "Avada Kedavra" on missiles. Dumbledore also came up, after the pranksters, who were not seen on the Zoom call and could only be heard, asked if the character's gay. They also wanted to know who Dumbledore had slept with before adding, "hopefully not with a transgender." Rowling has been accused of making transphobic comments in the past.

The famed author is not the only celebrity to get pranked by Vovan and Lexus. Elton John, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President George W. Bush have also fallen victim.  

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