FACT CHECK: Facebook Post Claims JK Rowling Tweeted The N-Word

Aryssa Damron | Fact Check Reporter

An image posted by the Facebook page Statist Zombies claimed that “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted, “Hermione Granger was black,” and referred to the fictional character as “my n****.”

Verdict: False

The page posted a doctored image to Facebook. The character of Hermione Granger is portrayed by a black actress in the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a casting decision defended by Rowling.

Fact Check:

The post shows two tweets, the first of which is dated April 3; in the image, Rowling allegedly uses a slur, justifying its use by saying that Granger, a character from the Harry Potter series, gave her “the N-word pass.”

However, Rowling has so far not sent any tweets in April, and The Daily Caller found no evidence that she deleted the tweets. (As they say, the internet never forgets, and an enterprising reporter would have likely taken a screenshot or archived the tweets fairly quickly.)

“We can confirm the Tweet has been doctored and is fake,” Nicky Stonehill of StonehillSalt PR, the consultancy that manages Rowling’s profile, told the Caller in an email.

Fake Rowling quotes have become a meme in and of themselves, based on Rowling’s tendency to share previously unknown, and sometimes unsolicited, details about her characters in interviews and online.

The fake tweets address a controversy that occurred when the cast of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” a play by director John Tiffany, playwright Jack Thorne and Rowling, was announced.

At the end of 2015, producers revealed that actress Noma Dumezweni would play Granger in the London production. Dumezweni was born in Swaziland and later grew up in Suffolk. The announcement received backlash from some fans who pointed out that Hermione was played by white actress Emma Watson in the Harry Potter films.

Rowling pushed back against the criticism and supported Dumezweni’s casting.

“Canon: brown eyes, frizzy hair and very clever. White skin was never specified. Rowling loves black Hermione,” she tweeted in December 2015.

One user pointed out a line from the third novel in which Hermione’s face is described as “white.”

“I had a bunch of racists telling me that because Hermione ‘turned white’ – that is, lost [color] from her face after a shock – that she must be a white woman, which I have a great deal of difficulty with,” Rowling told The Observer. “But I decided not to get too agitated about it and simply state quite firmly that Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

“We found the best actress and she’s black. Bye bye, now,” Rowling told a Twitter user who asked why the producers couldn’t find a “even a good white actress.”

The play has since made its way to Broadway, with “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” winning the Tony Award for best play in 2018. Dumezweni was nominated for best featured actress in a play but lost to Laurie Metcalf.

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Aryssa Damron

Fact Check Reporter


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