Why JK Rowling’s statement on Johnny Depp’s Fantastic Beasts casting is so troubling

“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.”

The casting of Johnny Depp as a major character in the new series of Harry Potter films has caused considerable debate for the past year. Depp was cast as Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them a few years ago, but it was kept a secret, as keeping his role under wraps formed a big twist in the first Fantastic Beasts film.

But in the summer of 2016, a few months before that film was released, Depp’s (now ex-) wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic abuse. A video of Depp throwing bottles and glasses and shouting at Heard, photos of Heard’s bruises, and text exchanges between Heard and Depp’s manager supporting her claims can all be found online. The couple later released a joint statement saying neither party had lied for financial gain and that there was “never any intent of physical or emotional harm”.

Many fans were upset that Depp was not re-cast, insisting that someone accused of domestic abuse should be removed from such a high-profile role, especially in a progressive children’s franchise. Their concerns take on new urgency in a post-Weinstein world

Despite the clamour, JK Rowling has stayed remarkably silent on the issue – especially for an author so engaged with her audience on Twitter, and generally happy to speak on political issues. Today, she breaks that silence with a statement on her website.

In it, she writes that she and director David Yates “naturally considered the possibility of recasting”, but that “based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to …read more

Source:: New Statesman

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