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The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling
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The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling

Author: The Free Press

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The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling is an audio documentary that examines some of the most contentious conflicts of our time through the life and career of the world’s most successful author. In conversation with host Megan Phelps-Roper, J.K. Rowling speaks with unprecedented candor and depth about the controversies surrounding her—from book bans to debates on gender and sex. The series also examines the forces propelling this moment in history, through interviews with Rowling’s supporters and critics, journalists, historians, clinicians, and more.

8 Episodes
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Trailer

2023-02-1401:3720

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling premieres Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Learn more Read an essay by host Megan Phelps-Roper
Host Megan Phelps-Roper writes a letter to J.K. Rowling—and receives a surprising invitation in reply: the opportunity for an intimate conversation in Rowling’s Scottish home. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Chapter 2: Burn The Witch

Chapter 2: Burn The Witch

2023-02-2155:4353

As "Harry Potter" becomes an international phenomenon, it coincides with the culture wars of the 1990s. In the backlash from Christians across America, author J.K. Rowling is accused of mainstreaming witchcraft and poisoning children’s minds. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Chapter 3:  A New Pyre

Chapter 3: A New Pyre

2023-02-2801:02:1742

The early days of the internet collide with the feverish fandom of “Harry Potter,” and a sprawling, global community emerges. But the hopefulness of this new technology brings with it the darker impulses of human nature. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Chapter 4: TERF Wars

Chapter 4: TERF Wars

2023-03-0701:03:0339

The movement for trans rights hits its stride in the early 2010s, but encounters fierce resistance from an unexpected source. J.K. Rowling watches the battle unfold with mounting unease. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Chapter 5: The Tweets

Chapter 5: The Tweets

2023-03-1401:00:4832

After years of observing the conflict between advocates for trans rights and women’s rights, J.K. Rowling weighs in. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, and Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Chapter 6: Natalie and Noah

Chapter 6: Natalie and Noah

2023-03-2101:13:0933

Transgender fans of Harry Potter share their criticism of J.K. Rowling—and the experiences that inform their views. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, Megan Phelps-Roper, and Candace Mittel Kahn, with special thanks to Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
Host Megan Phelps-Roper asks J.K. Rowling to respond to pushback from some of her critics. The two also discuss the difficulty of discernment—why it can be so hard to know what’s right. Produced by Andy Mills, Matthew Boll, Megan Phelps-Roper, with special thanks to Candace Mittel Kahn and Emily Yoffe. This show is proudly sponsored by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE believes free speech makes free people. Learn more at thefire.org.
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