J.K. Rowling Responds to Backlash Over Johnny Depp's 'Fantastic Beasts 2' Casting

The 'Harry Potter' author's comment has not been well received.


The verdict is in on J.K. Rowling's excuse for supporting Johnny Depp, and it's a swift "hell no" from, well, pretty much everyone.

The Harry Potter author, who is known as a champion for women and minority groups, came under fire after Depp was cast as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The decision surprised many fans who wondered why Rowling would support assigning Depp a starring role given his sketchy history. In 2016, the actor was accused of domestic abuse by former wife Amber Heard. Not only did Heard provide photo and video evidence of this abuse, but Depp's friends and business associates corroborated the claim that he was mentally and emotionally unstable. Heard went on to be awarded a $7 million settlement, donating it to charity in full.

On the morning of December 7, Rowling tweeted, "I'm saying what I can about the Grindelwald casting issue here," sharing a link to a post on her website.

Here is her post in its entirety:

"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.

"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."

The negative response was overwhelming.

Warner Bros. also issued a statement on the casting choice that reflected Rowling's statement:

"We are of course aware of reports that surfaced around the end of Johnny Depp’s marriage, and take seriously the complexity of the issues involved.

This matter has been jointly addressed by both parties, in a statement in which they said 'there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.'

Based on the circumstances and the information available to us, we, along with the filmmakers, continue to support the decision to proceed with Johnny Depp in the role of Grindelwald in this and future films."

Given her long history of support for victims, it's a slap in the face that an accused abuser would be granted such an important role in Rowling's story.

Do you support Depp's casting as Grindelwald? Why or why not? Comment below.

Find me on Twitter @WellHelloCecily. Instagram @CecilyTrowbridge.