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J.K. Rowling breaks her silence on Johnny Depp's casting in Fantastic Beasts

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling has been under a lot of pressure lately, with fans urging for her to speak about the continued casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The call for Rowling to weigh in comes after Depp had allegations of domestic abuse leveled against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard. In time, the pair reached a settlement, and in doing so issued the following statement that read “our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains.”

While this might've been enough to end to the matter for some, others who remain soured by the experience feel as if the actor should no longer be welcome in a franchise such as Fantastic Beasts (as well as other films all together). Recently, FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD director David Yates spoke out in defense of Depp's casting when he said “Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening,” Yates said. “With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

He then added, “By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know.’ It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

Later, in a new statement released by Warner Bros. on Thursday, Yates said, “None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations. We recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties. We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.”

To put it midly, scores of "Potter Heads" and "Nomads" were dissatisfied by Yates' statement, and have begun denouncing the franchise all together via social media.

As I'd mentioned earlier, today is the day when J.K. Rowling has decided to lend her voice to the matter. You can see her official statement below:

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.

Is it just me, or can you hear the sleepy Country tune "Stand By Your Man" as performed by Tammy Wynette playing softly in the background of this article?

What do you think about Rowling's statement? Are you okay with Depp continuing in the role of Gellert Grindelwald for the Fantastic Beasts movies? Or, would you rather have seen the character recast, allowing Depp to apparate his way out of the franchise for good? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Source: JKRowling.com

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