After Johnny Depp’s now ex-wife, Amber Heard, came forward about the verbal and physical abuse she endured during their short-lived marriage, fans of the popular Fantastic Beasts franchise voiced concerns about the actor remaining on the project.
In May 2016, Heard filed a restraining order against Depp and also released video of him attacking her and photos of her with a black eye. Heard has since dropped the case, stating her relationship with Depp was “intensely passionate and at times volatile, but was always bound by love.”
Despite these serious allegations, writer J.K. Rowling and director David Yates decided to stick with Johnny Depp for the next Fantastic Beasts movie. However, it wasn’t until today that Rowling officially shared her position on Depp. In a statement released on her website, Rowling shared,
“Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time 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.”
Fans responded on Twitter to Rowling’s statement, and many of whom were disappointed in the author’s response.
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
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
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
Rowling’s statement also added that “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.” With so many fans of the wizarding world Rowling created speaking out against her decision, it will be interesting to see if the controversy will affect the box office numbers for the next movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.
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