Concern about the casting of Johnny Depp in the titular role of Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes of Grindelwald, has been growing among Potter fans in recent months. This is due to allegations of domestic violence made against Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Heard was awarded $5 million in her case against Depp, which she donated to various human rights charities. J. K. Rowling, who last week blocked a fan on Twitter for questioning the decision, and who has previously said she is ‘delighted’ to have Depp on board, has released a statement defending his inclusion.
In a statement posted on her website, Rowling admits that though she was initially happy to have Depp cast, around the same time, the allegations against him were made public, which “deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.” However, she goes on to say that though they considered recasting him, she is ultimately “delighted” to have Depp on board.
The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.
She understands that though some fans may not be satisfied with this reasoning, “conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”
Unrest has been stirring within the Harry Potter community since it was revealed that Depp would reprise his role from the first Fantastic Beasts film, and become a major character in the sequel. I recently wrote about the opposing sides of the argument; those who believe someone accused of domestic violence should not be allowed to lead a film aimed primarily at young people, and Depp fans who have begun using the hashtag #JohnnyDeppIsMyGrindelwald.
Rowling’s statement comes after it was reported that last week she blocked a fan who questioned the decision on Twitter.
Needless to say, her statement has not gone over well with fans.
So basically Johnny Depp told you he didn’t do it and you believed him. This is shit, JK Rowling. pic.twitter.com/r9HIFQXNVK
— Jill Pantozzi ♿ (@JillPantozzi) December 7, 2017
j.k. rowling wrote a story about a boy who grew up in an abusive situation and yet continues to openly support known abuser johnny depp. harry potter’s not getting any more of my money. https://t.co/lHdPTIJRVe
— General Sarah Syndulla ? (@SarahDemp) December 7, 2017
This is massively disappointing, and I will not be seeing Fantastic Beasts or purchasing anything that is part of the Harry Potter franchise while this decision stands. https://t.co/mBwDKfniWG
— Whovian Feminism (@WhovianFeminism) December 7, 2017
What do you think of her statement and the decision to include Depp? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Via Bustle and Forbes