With a string of incredibly successful books and mega-blockbuster movies, the Harry Potter franchise has won a hardcore contingent of devoted fans all around the world.
And those fans are very protective of all their favourite characters – that’s why there’s been an outpouring of rage online after it was announced that Albus Dumbledore (arguably the best character in all the books and who’ll be played by Jude Law in the new film) won’t be “explicitly” gay in the upcoming second installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, The Crimes of Grindelwald.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published yesterday, the film’s director David Yates was asked whether the new movie would reference the character’s sexuality. He replied: “Not explicitly. But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
Justifiably, fans are upset about this – especially since J.K. Rowling revealed he was gay in 2007 while promoting the final book in her original series.
On Twitter, fans were pretty much fuming at the apparent side-lining of the beloved character’s LGBT+ identity.
Jill Pantozzi said: “If you’re not going to make Young Dumbledore’s sexuality explicitly clear in Fantastic Beasts then why even bother with this film at all tbh?”
If you're not going to make Young Dumbledore's sexuality explicitly clear in Fantastic Beasts then why even bother with this film at all tbh?— Jill Pantozzi ♿ (@JillPantozzi) January 31, 2018
Sarah Sterling made the very good point: “There are actually fans using the ‘being openly gay wouldn’t make sense for the time period’ argument re: Dumbledore. You can accept three headed dogs, invisibility cloaks, and Aberforth’s ‘affinity’ for goats, but not an openly gay dude in the 20th century?”
Lol. There are actually fans using the "being openly gay wouldn't make sense for the time period" argument re: Dumbledore. You can accept three headed dogs, invisibility cloaks, and Aberforth's "affinity" for goats, but not an openly gay dude in the 20th century?— Sarah Sterling (@SarahSterling_) January 31, 2018
And Emmy Cicierega added: “Uhhh Dumbledore and Grindelwald used to date though??? So what is this movie even going to be.”
“Not explicitly,” Yates replied when asked if the film makes it clear that Dumbledore is gay. “But I think all the fans are aware of that."— Connor Goldsmith (@dreamoforgonon) January 31, 2018
IT'S 2018 LMAO GET IT TOGETHER
jkr: dumbledore is gay lol— lucy (@_avasharpe) January 31, 2018
fans: okay but u didn't put it in the source material
jkr: i know lol
*ten years later*
fans: okay you've got a chance to put it in canon now
jkr: hehe lol i know
fans: so are you gonna
jkr: no lol
It's disappointing to learn at the start of #LGBTHistoryMonth, that a potential historic moment in the portrayal of LGBT+ people on film has been missed. We hope Dumbledore's sexuality is addressed"explicitly" in future films, and that more LGBT+ characters are introduced. https://t.co/aOAzAQB20A— Pride in London (@LondonLGBTPride) February 1, 2018
J.K. Rowling has even commented on the backlash by pointing out that she wasn’t involved in the interview.
She wrote on Twitter: “Being sent abuse about an interview that didn’t involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that’s only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what’s even *more* fun?”
Being sent abuse about an interview that didn't involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that's only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what's even *more* fun? pic.twitter.com/Rj6Zr8aKUk— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2018
And unfortunately for Rowling, this isn’t the only controversy she’s been involved with recently. Fans were very upset with the author after she defended Johnny Depp after he faced an accusation of assault.
The new movie Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set to be released on 16 November 2018.
(Image: Warner Bros)