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JK Rowling responds to criticism over Johnny Depp casting in Fantastic Beasts 2

Joseph McCormick December 10, 2017

Famed Harry Potter author JK Rowling has responded to criticism over the casting of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel.

The actor has been signed up to play Grindelwald in a series of new films.

Back in 2016, Depp was signed up to play Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as well as its upcoming sequels.

Director David Yates broke the news earlier, ending months of speculation about who would play Albus Dumbledore’s former lover.

It was also rumoured that Depp had won the part after he was spotted in a blink-and-you-miss-it scene in the first film starring Eddie Redmayne.

Yates has since confirmed that Depp – who recently said that all of his characters are gay – will briefly feature in the first film, before taking on a wider role in the sequels.

But not everybody was happy with the decision after Depp was accused of domestic abuse by ex wife Amber Heard.

Now JK Rowling herself has released a lengthy statement about the casting,

However, some fans did not share the writer’s enthusiasm, with many drawing attention to the domestic violence allegations made against the Depp by his former wife Amber Heard earlier this year.

In a lengthy statement, Rowling acknowledged that some would be unhappy with the decision, but that she was optimistic about ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’.

She wrote on her blog: “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.

“I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, 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.”

One user responded on Twitter, saying: “I never thought I would be disappointed with you, @jk_rowling, you were a person who always mirrored me, taught me to be brave and to face abuse, I can not say the same now.

“YOU were already a victim of domestic violence years ago, YOU have been in the place that Amber is now, and even then, decided to defend an aggressor. I’M REALLY, REALLY DISAPPOINTED WITH YOU, J.K!”

Another added: “I have never been so heavily disappointed in a woman who supposedly empowers women. If @HouseofCards can take the step to remove their main character for gender-based violence, what is this franchise’s excuse? Explain to me what is “conscience” here.”

But some defended Rowling and the decision, with one saying: “All the people #bitching and moaning on here are quite annoying. And this is precisely why I would loath being a public figure.”

Another wrote: “I was v conflicted and your tweets made me feel infinitely better, thank you.”

Rowling had previously hinted that the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald will be central to the new films – of which there will be five.

More: Dumbledore, Gay, grindelwald, Harry Potter, JK Rowling, Johnny Depp, LGBT

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