Russian pranksters convinced J.K. Rowling she was on a Zoom call with Zelenskyy

Comedians Vovan and Lexus held Rowling on Zoom for 12 minutes as she attempted to discuss her charity work

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published June 23, 2022 5:31PM (EDT)

J.K. Rowling (Getty/Angela Weiss)
J.K. Rowling (Getty/Angela Weiss)

Author J.K. Rowling is the latest celebrity to fall into the trap of Russian comedians Vovan and Lexus, two pranksters who have made names for themselves by pulling similar stunts on the likes of Elton John, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and George W. Bush.

After seating herself behind her computer for what she thought was a call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which she'd discuss her charitable efforts in Ukraine, she later discovered she was not actually speaking to Zelenskyy at all. 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, representatives for Rowling refer to the prank as "distasteful" and add further context to the timeline leading up to the hoax saying, "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."

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Vovan and Lexus pretended to be Zelenskyy with their camera off during the majority of the Zoom call, asking Rowling such things as whether or not Dumbledore was really gay, and whether Rowling would change the scar on the forehead of her most famous character, Harry Potter, to a Ukrainian trident.

"I will look into that," Rowling said in response to the question regarding changing Potter's scar. "It might be good for me to do something with that myself on social media because I think that will get into the newspapers."

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"We read Harry Potter to the soldiers in the battalion . . . just don't read them passages about half breeds [as] they are nationalists and do not like such people," Vovan and Lexus told Rowling.

Referencing the author's charity Lumos, the pranksters joked about what her contributions would go towards saying, "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." To which Rowling replied, "We'll look after the kids but I really want Ukraine to have all of the arms it needs."

According to a post written by The Rowling Library today, the comedians ended the call by asking Rowling to "say 'hello' to his (Zelenskyy's) two favorite Russian writers, Vovan and Lexus."

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By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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