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J. K. Rowling Breaks Her Silence on Johnny Depp 'Fantastic Beasts 2' Casting

Last week, the author blocked a fan on Twitter for questioning Depp's inclusion

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. 





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 



I want to attempt to articulate my thoughts without sounding too biased. This is more in defense of Rowling than Depp. 

First, I've never read a single Potter book. Maybe saw a couple of the movies. So I am not a Harry Potter fan or a giant fan of her work. But I recognize that she is a reasonable and fair person and find it odd that so many of her actual fans are forming lynch mobs based on something like this. 

The details of Depp's failed marriage and the events leading up to it are shady and unclear in certain areas when it comes to facts and data. There are a lot of he did this, she did this, situations. Depp and his wife have had marital issues. He has been accused of abusive conduct that at the end of the day cannot be confirmed in detail or denied completely. Everything was settled out of court which suggests she really just wanted the money. (which she reportedly was going to give all away to charity but refused to allow the courts to deliver the funds for her, but instead wanted it given to her so she could dispense it and let's just be honest, keep what she wanted.)  I have great admiration and empathy for any woman who is legitimately abused by a man, especially her husband. It just appears that if she really wanted to make better the wrongdoing, she would have pursued greater legal action and had him punished for his abuse. Just as any abuser should be. However, she did not and instead took the money and went along her way. 

To an outsider dealing with the facts of this situation, we cannot then treat Depp as if he is a horrible monstrous wife abuser. If a woman had struggled with drug and alcohol addiction,  had a fight with her husband, threw her phone at him striking him in the face where he got a bruise. We would not ban her from working in the entertainment business or attack the people that employ her. And so when JK Rowling and the producers of these films considered him for this role they most likely took all of these facts into consideration. That at the end of the day Depp is not on the same level as actual domestic abusers. And they looked at how the entire thing went down in and outside of court to determine that they could still hire him and feel fine with it. 

Anyone that has read her thoughts on nearly anything, or observed how she responds to actual abusive people, should be able to logically determine this was a situation that she unbiasedly weighed out before moving forward. As her fan base, they should respect her as a strong-minded and level-headed woman, instead of spitting out venom when she might say or think something different from their own personal opinions. To go from loving someone and then to hate them in a single breath is immature and ridiculous. Take in all of the facts, weigh out all of the details. Sadly however our society is plagued with knee-jerk reactors and people waiting for a reason to hate someone. Rowling's decisions to block a user is justified because she has that right. Simply because someone is a public figure does not mean that they do not get annoyed by people who spout out words without a little thought first. Any of her fans could reach out to her and ask her kindly why she made this decision instead of jumping out of the gate with their finger pointed at her. If they truly were as dedicated to her work and to her as they claimed, they would try and give her the benefit of the doubt. Which is exactly what we all deserve no matter on our social or economic status.