Daniel Radcliffe Responds to Controversy of Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts,' & He Makes Such a Great Point

Harry Potter fans are still not too thrilled about Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling's decision to cast Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise, despite allegations that he physically and verbally abused his ex-wife Amber Heard. Now, our beloved boy wizard is speaking out about Depp's involvement in the Harry Potter spinoff films. Daniel Radcliffe has publicly addressed the controversial choice, and he seems pretty torn about the casting news.

"It's a very hard thing for me," Radcliffe told Entertainment Weeklymentioning that he wanted to be supportive of the producers, all of whom worked on the original franchise and gave Radcliffe "a great start in life and an amazing job." 

In a statement explaining Depp's casting, Rowling, who has written the screenplays for the first two Fantastic Beasts films, said, "The agreements that have been put in the 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 [between Depp and Heard], 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."

Although he expressed support of Rowling and her colleagues, Radcliffe brought up a valid point about casting Depp. "I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that," he said. "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."

Radcliffe was referring to the case of Jamie Waylett, who played one of Draco Malfoy's sidekicks, Vincent Crabbe, in the first six films. After he was arrested for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009, Waylett was fired from the films, and his character was simply removed onscreen. In 2011, the same year that the last Potter film premiered, he was arrested for having a homemade bomb on his person during the London riots. When news of Depp's casting broke, many avid franchise fans reminded us of the way Waylett was treated, asking why someone with Depp's fame wasn't viewed with the same severity upon an alleged criminal offense. 

Leave it to the Boy Who Lived to share a thoughtful view on the controversy surrounding Depp. Although it doesn't change anything about Depp's role in the franchise, it's good to know that there are actors within the Potter world willing to call out what's wrong about it. 

Sequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which will likely feature Depp in a prominent role, hits theaters on Nov. 16.