J.K. Rowling has defended her decision to cast Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at length, but her fans have not been so quick to accept the controversial hiring, especially in light of the powerful #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. When Depp’s casting was announced in 2016, there was immediate backlash, with fans calling attention to his alleged domestic abuse.
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp released a joint statement surrounding the public accusations, writing:
“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity.”
Now, Daniel Radcliffe is speaking out about Depp’s role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. While he did not get into the issue in depth, fans will be unsurprised to hear his empathetic response to the controversy, showing his true Gryffindor colors.
“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe told Entertainment Weekly. “I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that. I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — but in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the original Potter film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
100 points for Gryffindor.
The “reprimand” he is referring to is Jamie Waylett (Crabbe), who was dropped from the final two Harry Potter movies after being arrested for growing marijuana plants. Radcliffe is drawing attention to the lack of consequences for Depp’s ever-flourishing acting career after abuse allegations, when growing marijuana was enough to warrant complete expulsion from the series.
The Harry Potter world played no small part in teaching kids acceptance and bravery. Studies even say that those who grew up with Harry Potter are more accepting towards minorities than those who did not. It’s a shame that this casting might strip away some of that magic for longtime readers.