J.K. Rowling's high dive into the pool of transphobia has shocked many people who grew up knowing her only as the nice wizard lady, but her asshole side was on full display way back in the '90s with her treatment of Stephen Fry. Fans have circulated a story for years, claiming to have heard it from Fry's stand-up routine, that when he was recording the audiobook of Prisoner of Azkaban, he couldn't make his mouth form the words "Harry pocketed it," so he called Rowling and asked if he could say "Harry put it in his pocket." According to Fry, according to fans, she said "no" and then put the same words in the next three books, ostensibly because Fry had previously been condescending toward her about her silly little children's books. She denied the story in 2017:
She's right. It's in three books.
That's Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, and Half-Blood Prince, the next three books in the series. (She's probably kicking herself for forgetting about it during the writing of Deathly Hallows, but 2007 was a wild year. Obama, iPhones, the Chipmunks movie. We all had shit on our minds.) To be fair, it doesn't appear in Prisoner of Azkaban or the two earlier books, but in 2019, Fry told the story on tape:
What's more likely? That he's making up the whole thing based on this otherwise innocuous phrase that he somehow noticed in several books but had no problem with, or that he just misremembered which book he was recording when he had the problem and J.K. Rowling is a big liar in addition to a transphobic jerk? Draw the battle lines and join your side, but keep in mind that the arc of history bends toward Stephen Fry.
Top image: Warner Bros. Pictures