Guest post byRita Skeeter, award-winning journalist and ultra-reliable source for all the dirt you've ever wanted to read.
That was the name we gave it when I was a schoolgirl at Hogwarts, although the dry dusty textbook simply described it as a spell to reveal the embarrassing truth about someone. I shan't go into the details of the spell on a Muggle blog, but I'll say that it was quite popular with the students because its hapless target might suddenly find himself standing in front of the classroom in nothing but his brightly colored cartoon-print underpants.
When wielded by a more adept and sophisticated user of magic, such as yours truly, the spell has many subtler uses. I've often found it helpful for such purposes as inducing a corrupt Ministry official to make a misstep, thus giving me fodder for another of my highly acclaimed investigative reports while also providing a valuable public service.
I recently put the Underpants Curse on two ridiculously arrogant Muggles who were overdue for some public exposure of the less flattering sort. The first was Suzanne Wright of Autism Speaks, whose atrocious attitude I've mentioned before. She had been putting on a halfway convincing pretense of caring about autistic people, by means of high-profile lobbying for mandatory insurance coverage; why, she'd even managed to go more than a year without spewing any of her usual vitriolic rhetoric about eradicating autistic people. When she appealed to parents to donate video footage of their children for a new promotional campaign, she didn't raise much suspicion as to her intentions.
As for Alfonso Cuarón, the other arrogant fool I put the curse on—well, that inept excuse for a filmmaker has offended so many high-placed people in magical society that I'm surprised he hasn't gotten an Unforgivable Curse put on him yet. If it weren't bad enough that he caricatured our lives for the entertainment of common Muggles, he didn't even pay any attention to the details. I mean, really, who doesn't know that werewolves have hair? And showing that unkempt, ill-mannered little hooligan Hermione Granger as a paragon of fashion. Puh-leeze!
Now, I'm quite clever if I do say so myself. But even though my outstanding talents are widely renowned, I wasn't expecting when I put the Underpants Curse on Wright and Cuarón that both of them would reveal their true selves so thoroughly in one fell swoop. What could they have been thinking when they decided to make their "I Am Autism" video, which—just like the short-lived and widely condemned Ransom Notes ad campaign—portrays autistics as kidnapped by an evil monster and intolerable burdens on society? This explanation is as good as any (though I must say it's rather disrespectful toward my stellar reporting).
Whatever their reasoning or lack thereof might have been, their Bigots-R-Us store-brand underpants are now on display for the whole world to see. Nobody who watches that video will ever again think of Cuarón as anything but a third-rate propagandist. As for Suzanne Wright, if enough outraged autistics and their friends and family members take action, this might finally be the moment where Autism Speaks' true colors as a hate group become so obvious that its sponsors all jump off the sinking ship with their little furry tails twitching anxiously as they swim off into the sunset.