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J.K. Rowling Defends Johnny Depp Casting in 'Fantastic Beasts'

J.K. Rowling Defends Johnny Depp Casting in 'Fantastic Beasts'

Fans have questioned Warner Bros’ decision to keep Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, after his cameo in the 2016 film.

Now, the author of the “Harry Potter” books and the screenwriter for the movie, J.K. Rowling, is defending the choice to keep him on board. If you don’t know, Johnny was accused of domestic violence by his ex wife Amber Heard. Johnny and Amber later settled their divorce in court.

Click inside to see the full statement made by JK Rowling….


“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,” she wrote on her website.

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.”

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: fantastic beasts, JK Rowling, Johnny Depp

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  • John Black

    I used to love her – Now. I hate the bitc*.

  • Sansa Squad

    I hope all the bitter people whining about taylor swift getting recognized for fighting against sexual harassment/assault – citing her perceived silence on a random group of n*zis who love her – are EQUALLY (if not more) pissed that j*hnny d*pp, friend and recent collaborator of KNOWN n*zi marilyn manson, is still getting roles like this…

  • disqus_KwgiMZNJ54

    Gross and disappointing. Colin Ferrel would have been a much better choice. Not only does Johnny Depp act like an idiot in films, trying to be “unique” and take a lot of people out of the movie, but his abusive behavior should not be tolerated. I won’t watch this movie on principal, but I worry that the diehard potter fans will see it anyway and give him a nice payday. ughhhh just gross.

    And before the psycho Depp stans make a stupid comment, I’ll say YES where there’s *picture proof & witnesses* (” Depp’s managers filed court documents alleging that they witnessed Depp being violent toward his ex-wife Amber Heard, and that they can confirm the statements Heard made to the police and in court were correct. “), I’ll believe someone, and NO doesn’t have to be tons of women to come forward for it to be true. someone doesn’t have to have abused their previous girlfriends in order for them to be an abuser.

  • Sansa Squad

    totally agree!! this statement is disappointing and even though it might make JK feel better/absolved of responsibility in this situation, we all know the real reason this movie is going forward with him in it is because the first one made so much money in spite of the allegations. the execs/producers in charge figure HP fans just don’t really care about depp’s behavior (and I’d be willing to bet a few of those people are abusers themselves – warner bros. doesn’t have a clean track record, working w people like brett ratner and ben affleck even though everyone’s always known how sleazy they are, and as we’ve repeatedly learned: abusers protect abusers). I hope fans actually take a stand this time around and boycott this movie, no matter how much they love harry potter – it’s not worth it to enable depp and the people protecting him.

  • disqus_KwgiMZNJ54

    Ah that makes sense, I forgot that WB was connected to all of those guys. I read someone say that you can watch it off the internet for free so that you’re not financing them ;)

  • cafeast

    Words cannot describe how much I hate this miserable piece of sht excuse for a woman. Hypocrite to the nth degree. She is a feminist when social media calls call that she-hulk serena williams a man. But when it comes to beating a woman to a pulp, she defends the perp.
    Vile vile nasty creature.

  • NerdyBirdy

    haters are pathetic

  • FlakesofSunlite

    JK Rowling wanted Francois Arnaud for Grindelwald, not gross Johnny Depp. Francois Arnaud’s casting was to increase the likelihood of meeting Emma Watson.

  • MyName

    I don’t have any issue with him continuing to work. I don’t believe someone’s livelihood should be taken away based solely on an accusation. Anyone could then accuse anyone else they choose. He wasn’t proven guilty and AH’s claims were questionable.

    The police saw no marks and her bruises seem to appear when she needed them for money and then disappear even within the same day in question. No one eye-witnessed him ever having hit her. She claimed someone was on the phone with her one day and that was one of her friends who was benefiting from his money. There was a video of her trying to provoke him and all that showed was anger but no physical contact. If just being angry is abuse then most spouses are guilty.

    AH had even approached him with handling it privately which he refused. If he was guilty then he should have jumped at the chance to keep it quiet. He wanted to work out their divorce in court as most do. If she wanted to become an advocate for abuse she should have not even have suggested not openly telling the world. It also seems strange that AH is out and proud unless there’s a very wealthy man interested in her.

    All of his exes came to his defense so no history was found. AH had even been arrested for domestic abuse. She tried to claim that cop who witnessed it was homophobic but the cop was a gay woman herself. False claims can make it more difficult for those who have actually experienced it to be believed. There isn’t always proof but it’s then a sticky situation because anyone could be accused. Therefore it has to be what the overall shows and it wasn’t proven in JD’s case.

    I’m all for those guilty having to pay and hopefully ending much of the future abuse. However, we can’t just tar and feather everyone who may be accused. If so, it would become something similar to the ol’ Salem witch trials.

  • jana

    How was that gold digger beaten to a pulp?

  • jana

    And you know that how?

  • jana

    Then you should also boycott Aquaman, since Amber Heard was ARRESTED for domestic violence against a woman in 2009.

  • jana

    “It’s almost 4 a.m. and I can’t sleep. Not even dozing off. Today, a friend of mine was pilloried in the press for domestic violence. Coupled with a picture of his wife with a bruise, he was murdered on social media.

    I watched it happen and I didn’t say a f—ing word.

    Even though I knew it was bulls—.

    We’d watched it build like this since before they were married. We’d watched her manipulate and f— with him for years. We didn’t say a word. To each other, yes, but never to him.

    When your friend is in an awful, abusive relationship — man or woman — and you risk weighing in that their counterpart is a demon, you know the odds are they will jump right back into the fire and then dump you from their life for being honest.

    Most of us have been on one or both sides of this coin. Choosing to be blinded, or removing the people who have clearer eyes that can guide you.

    The fact that Hollywood and the entertainment industry at large — f—, society as a whole — turns a blind eye to domestic violence is abhorrent.

    But the tides have turned in such a way that the mere allegation that such a crime has occurred leaves the person accused as guilty without due process.

    My girlfriend, Bingo, and I have known Johnny Depp for a few years now. We have watched Amber Heard f— with him at his weakest — or watched him at his weakest from being f—ed with — for the entire time we’ve known him.

    And we didn’t say s—.

    Because he’s Johnny Depp.

    And we didn’t want to be thrown out of the circle for saying that The Emperor was being Stripped of His Clothes.

    It isn’t my place to name people who agreed with us but I couldn’t name one person closely associated with him that didn’t feel the same.

    But nobody said s— to his face.

    Bingo and I were at Johnny’s house for most of that Saturday until just before the alleged assault. We assumed initially that his dour mood was because of his mother’s death the day before. But he opened up in the most vulnerable of ways that it was not only his mother, but that Amber was now going to leave him, threatening to lie about him publicly in any and every possible duplicitous way if he didn’t agree to her terms. Blackmail is what I would imagine other people might put it, including the manner in which he is now being vilified.

    We stopped not saying s—.

    Bingo and I together, and then separately, told him how much we were aware of this manipulative a–hole, how his closest circle had all agreed on this since the day we met and that we all feared that telling him outright might alienate us all.

    Love makes you do funny things.

    I told him the truth and I half-expected to be asked to leave. But I wasn’t seeing Johnny Depp. I saw a naked Emperor. And we told him to get dressed.

    Other people came in and out during the afternoon, all verifying that we’d been cowardly, saying things only behind his back for so long.

    He seemed dumbstruck that nobody had ever come clean about this and he thanked everyone for being honest.

    He still pronounced his love for Amber but was presciently aware that she was going to pull off some kind of ruse to f— him over.

    He hadn’t slept in days with anxiety.

    You’d call him a paranoid if you didn’t know better.

    But he knew better and he was right.

    As he finally felt like he could sleep, we left him. From what we now read in the news, later that night the police were called to his house for a domestic dispute. Finding no criminal act had occurred and no signs of physical abuse, the police left.

    Everything Johnny had told us that she’d been threatening had actually come to be. It blew up in the news, raced through the Internet like a plague and blew up on Twitter like it was the McMartin child abuse scandal. People are swarming with torches on social media.

    I watched it all happen ahead of time and I watched it come to fruition today. And I haven’t been able to sleep again because I didn’t say s— to defend him.


    Because I felt like in defending him I would just come across as a sycophant trying to attach myself to a sensationalized story in order to further my career. A latterday Kato Kaelin. And now as the sun is coming up, I realized not saying s— to defend him is a far worse crime of ego; to leave a friend hanging so you don’t look like a suck-up.

    I — and the “we” that were there — aren’t suck-ups or apologists. We were witnesses.

    I didn’t jump into the fray because I was weak; it was because I didn’t want to look like a name-dropper.

    I’ll name-drop now. Johnny Depp is my friend.

    But any one of my friends will tell you I always call them out on bulls—. Abusing women is bulls—. Johnny doesn’t abuse anyone. And he told me that day ahead of time that she’d pull some kind of s— like this.

    Johnny Depp got used, manipulated, set up and made to look like an a–hole. And he saw it coming and didn’t or couldn’t do anything to stop it.

    He may never talk to me again for saying it but I’d never forgive myself for not coming to his defense out of fear or ego.

    I stand up for my friends and I tell the f—ing truth.”

  • Amber

    Yes, I’m shocked at J.K. Rowling, but I suppose it’s easy for anyone to be a social media activist, but given the chance to effect real institutional change she cowered, and yes, absolved herself of responsibility in the matter. So disappointing!