Could the person who dreamed up Hermione Granger be a secret supporter of sexism? In a nutshell: No way. That didn't stop a Scottish politician from accusing J.K. Rowling of misogyny — wrongly, we might add. Parliament member Natalie McGarry claimed via Twitter that the famed author had come down on the side of a sexist troll. After seeing the tweet, Rowling of course wanted evidence.
The women went back and forth repeatedly, with McGarry insisting that Rowling explain why she supported a Twitter user called Brian Spanner, and Rowling insisting that McGarry provide proof of the allegation. "You tweet support of a misogynist abuser," McGarry wrote in a since-removed tweet. "You talk of Twitter abuse and then (metaphorically) cuddle up to trolls." Rowling took McGarry's accusation seriously enough to remind her that she was in dangerous territory. "You are a politician making a public accussation," Rowling pointed out. "Show me where I have defended abuse, misogynist trolling." McGarry continued to make accussations against the author, who eventually said that the pol would either need to provide proof or an apology. After several more tweets, McGarry eventually obliged, sending Rowling a contextless image she'd screengrabbed; she also claimed that Rowling had posted some "very positive" things about the potty-mouthed user in the past.
At this point, Rowling was fed up and said that it was time to take the conversation offline. McGarry momentarily backed off, apologizing...and then shared another screenshot of tweets in which the author commented positively to Brian Spanner.
The problem with that allegation? The image was clearly doctored to look as though Rowling had commented on the offending tweet; in fact, Rowling had mentioned Spanner — in the context of raising money for her charity, Lumos.
When McGarry still didn't take the screenshot down, Rowling ultimately threatened legal action — and as of today, McGarry's Twitter account is locked. Another Twitter user took responsibility for the screenshot that made it seem as though Rowling was supporting a sexist; that user has since taken a break from the internet to think about what he did.
In sum: What a mess. We bet everyone involved is wishing they had a magic wand to make this whole thing just disappear. For the full virtual fisticuffs, head on over to BuzzFeed.