Johnny Depp – this name synonymous with the characters he’s played – Edward Scissorhands, Willy Wonka, Jack Sparrow and many more. He has never looked the same in any role. Heck, he’s not even looked like himself!
Last year, this versatile actor was cast in the first of a series of five Harry Potter franchise movies – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He had a cameo to play towards the end of the film and that was all. However, around the same time, he was going through a divorce with his wife Amber Heard and the accusations made against him were ugly.
His wife accused him of domestic abuse and it was shocking for Depp and Potter fandoms both. The ex-couple, however, settled the matter outside court and released the below joint statement.
A year later, after the first Fantastic Beasts movie release, when J K Rowling’s team surprised everyone the news of the upcoming movie hitting the theatres in November 2018, on Pottermore, there was as much excitement as there was outrage. Johnny Depp was all over the posters of the much-awaited movie.
The Potter fandom was furious about not just Depp being cast in the new movie, but also having the title around the character he plays, making him one of the crucial members of the cast.
J K Rowling has been well known to stand up against injustice and other extremely deep social problems and has always sided by the victims. The fans were hoping and praying she didn’t play a crucial role in the film’s casting. However, when The Queen (as Rowling is well known in the fandom) released this statement on her website, she only fueled the fire rather than taming it down.
Potter fans were not only extremely disappointed by the Fantastic Beasts directorial and casting team deciding to keep Johnny as a member of the cast, even after knowing what he has done is not morally right, they were more so when their childhood and adulthood idol, Rowling, supported their decision.
Here’s the reaction to J K Rowling’s tweet:
I’m very disappointed and angry over this decision, and I hope that there’s still a chance that you’ll rethink it. Harry Potter was a very important part to my childhood and I still adore it to this day, but I absolutely will not support any movie that has Depp in it.
— revive great comet ☄ (@RomanasVilla) December 7, 2017
Absolutely unacceptable. You cannot claim to support women & keep an alleged domestic abuser in such a prominent role in one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood. To give him a continued voice only perpetuates & normalizes the problem within the industry. I'm so disappointed.
— ★⋆ Kat ⋆★ (@KatWQuinn) December 7, 2017
I have dyslexia and your books have helped me enjoy reading. if anyone asked me who would be a striking figure in my life (besides my parents) you would be the obvious choice. now reading this text has left me extremely disappointed.
— Gabs (@bielaca) December 7, 2017
hp helped so many victims of abuse. harry potter IS A VICTIM OF ABUSE and you blocked some fans that reminded you about this case. i seriously hope those fans don't watch the crimes of grindelwald 'cause they already know the crimes of johnny depp.
— ˗ˏˋ jhona ˊˎ˗ (@POTTEREINA) December 7, 2017
You can read the entire thread of tweets, here.
I'm saying what I can about the Grindelwald casting issue here:https://t.co/NDMjy542Yv
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) December 7, 2017
Rumour has it that J K Rowling has also blocked a few of her fans for opposing her. That’s an unlikely behavior, not expected by someone like her.
While we understand that her statement stems out of loving the art and not the artist and she is not the whole and sole decision-maker of the casting process, this has surely made her a doubtful idol.
Was she right in re-casting Depp or was it a bad decision? Tell us what you think, in the comments below.