Why I Won’t Be Seeing ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

I’ve been a HUGE Harry Potter fan since elementary school. I’ve read every book, collected all the merch I could and I’ve seen every movie, including the first installment in the Fantastic Beasts series. But, I definitely won’t be seeing its sequel, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald."

In the age of the #MeToo and #BelieveWomen movements, it’s sad to see a production as ignorant as "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Gindelwald." Its main antagonist, the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald, a character well-known to the readers of the OG Harry Potter series is played by Johnny Depp.Via IMDb

In May of 2016, Depp’s wife, Amber Heard, filed for divorce after she claims she suffered years of physical and psychological abuse at the hands of her now ex-husband. There have been a lot of rumors back and forth surrounding the accusations; however, in a time of believing women, I can’t let this be an exception. Because even after the finalization of their divorce, Depp continues to smear and vilify Heard.

And while I expected consideration from author J.K. Rowling, who worked on the casting of the film, as well as the Warner Bros. Studios; their responses to backlash has been disappointing.

Related: J.K. Rowling Explains Why She’s Okay With Johnny Depp’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Casting Despite Controversy

Via IMDb

Following Depp’s previous cameo at the end of the first film in 2016, and following the abuse allegations; many fans were angered and directed their issues towards Rowling who publicly supported Depp’s casting. Rowling claims that “stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise” around the time of filming his cameo; however still chose to cast Depp in the sequel, seemingly contradicting herself.

Warner Bros. Studios repeated similar sentiments in support of Depp’s casting. However, yet again they seemed to contradict themselves in stating that “We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties. We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.” It really seems like they were only sensitive towards one party in this debate and allowed a desire for talent and big ticket sales to blind them to the complexities of the matter at hand.

And this isn’t about running out of time for a recasting, I mean Ridley Scott recasted Kevin Spacey’s role in All the Money in the World after the entire movie was already filmed. This was a blatant decision by the casting and production team to value the movie over an individual.

Many people say that you have to separate the art from the artist. However, I believe that you just can’t do that. It’s being complacent to the mistreatment of an individual and desensitizes us to real issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. And recognizing these things and taking action in Hollywood won’t ruin or destroy a film. As Scott and his All the Money in the World showed, it is possible to recast.

Related: Why We Cannot Separate The Artist From Their Art

And while it may seem to be just a small act of disapproval to not see a movie, I believe it means something much greater. It is a refusal to accept Hollywood’s complacency on issues like domestic abuse and sexual assault. There are thousands of actors in the United States, and therefore, it must be possible to find the same amount of talent with a less problematic connotation.