J.K. Rowling finally broke her silence surrounding the controversy with casting Johnny Depp in the Fantastic Beasts sequel – and what she had to say might disappoint you. In turns out, the Harry Potter author is “genuinely happy” to have the actor onboard the film despite the abuse allegations made by his ex-wife, Amber Heard, in 2016.
J.K. expressed her thoughts on her website Thursday. “When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise,” she wrote in a lengthy statement. “Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, longtime Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.”
What she wrote next is why people are losing their minds over the matter…
“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,” J.K. continued, elaborating on the fact that we should respect that both Johnny and Amber have moved on with their lives. In other words, so should we.
She concluded her statement by acknowledging that fans will be upset over hers and the film’s decision to defend Johnny. “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,” she wrote.
Her explanation did not sit well fans, who questioned how she can support the actor.
Unbelievably disappointed. It’s as though all the lessons learned from Harry Potter are being stomped on.
— Skye Jensen (@PandoraSkye2) December 7, 2017
It’s always the same bullshit. Believe women and stand up for victims until it becomes too uncomfortable, inconvenient, embarrassing, a vote, a movie, a dollar. Thanks for nothing @jk_rowling.
— Elicia Donze (@eliciadonze) December 7, 2017
jk rowling has worked so systematically and methodically to destroy my love of her creation. it’s fascinating.
— Pete Souza Petty (@KendraJames_) December 7, 2017
JK Rowling joins Lena Dunham and Kate Winslet in the “I believe women except for when I don’t feel like it” dustbin.
— Lizzzzzzzz (@LizzyLaurie) December 7, 2017
You can say what you want but as long as crusty Johnny Depp is in it I’m out
— King Giroud (@YoungeArsenal) December 7, 2017
The controversy all began after Johnny was featured in the movie poster for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Following the promo pic’s release, people took to Twitter to voice their opinions on letting him reprise his role as Gellert Grindelwald. Fans even called for a recasting!
However, director David Yates defended his decision to keep Johnny, calling it a “dead issue.” Fans then waited patiently to hear what J.K. – an avid defender of women and the topic of sexual and domestic abuse – had to say. It turns out, her opinion was better left unsaid.