Since the early 2000’s J K Rowling has entered our conscious minds with Harry Potter. For many of us, we grew up the same time as Harry, Ron and Hermione did. The films, the books, the clothing, we devoured all of it. And after the end of the series, we waited for J K Rowling to write more. And she did. A prequel to the films came out last year. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them came out late 2016 and this year the next in the series is due to be released. Except, the fans are not as excited for the second instalment, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
People have taken to twitter to voice their concerns over the film. It’s not because the films have moved the Harry Potter franchise from the UK to the US, but because the casting of one of the actors in the film is controversial. Johnny Depp lost his place in the hearts of many after 31-year-old Amber Heard made allegations that Depp had physically, verbally and emotionally abused her during their marriage. After it came to light that Rowling had cast Depp in the film, many fans took to social media and tried to get a response from Rowling.
In the wake of the Times making The Silent Breakers person of the year, people are just not happy with the way J K Rowling is handling the backlash of hiring Johnny Depp. Rowling was seen to favourite tweets calling Amber Heard a liar. She put out the following statement via her Facebook account:
“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.
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.
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.
I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see The Crimes of Grindelwald. 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.”
Sunny Singh, author and activist responds to Rowling’s statement on twitter.
It would seem like Rowling is starting to lose her fan base. Her fan base are no longer in their teens. They are grown intelligent adults that are now holding her accountable. Her actions, her words, her stories won’t stand the test of time if she carries on this way.