Harry Potter author JK Rowling has answered criticism that Dumbledore won’t be portrayed as “explicitly” gay in upcoming film Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
The accusations emerged after Beasts director David Yates implied the sexuality of the wizarding teacher played by Jude Law wouldn’t be referenced in the movie. When asked by EW if the film makes clear Dumbledore is gay, Yates replied: “Not explicitly.”
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Referencing the close teenage relationship between Dumbledore and wizard-gone-bad Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp), Yates added: “But I think all the fans are aware of that. [Dumbledore] 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.”
The comments were criticized by many Twitter users who said the films were unnecessarily shirking an LGBT character.
“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.”
“Dumbledore will ‘not explicitly’ be gay in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”.And others pointed out that Dumbledore’s sexuality would be integral to the franchise’s plot, owing to his intense relationship with Grindelwald.”
“Let’s randomly turn Fantastic Beasts into a five-part Dumbledore/Grindelwald story without acknowledging that the ENTIRE reason the Dumbledore/Grindelwald relationship is complex is because they were in love.”
Then people turned on Fantastic Beasts screenwriter JK Rowling, who, despite explicitly saying Dumbledore was gay in the past, was now being accused of playing down his sexuality.
jkr: dumbledore is gay lol
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
— lucy (@_avasharpe) January 31, 2018
If it isn’t obvious by now: Rowling said Dumbledore was gay those years ago purely to try and avoid backlash for not having enough diversity. She never said anything about it in the actual series, and now won’t again in fantastic beasts.
JKR *opening closet door, gestures*: Look, it’s Dumbledore, he’s gay!
Dumbledoor *tries to step out of the closet*
— heidi heilig (@heidiheilig) January 31, 2018
And now Rowling has tried to pour a calming draught on the situation, saying on Twitter that the comments about Dumbledore were only Yates’ words and that her accusers hadn’t actually seen the screenplay. Pointing out The Crimes of Grindelwald was only one film in the franchise, she also hinted that Dumbledore’s sexuality could play a larger role in later Fantastic Beasts movies.
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?
In other words, even if Dumbledore isn’t made explicitly gay in The Crimes of Grindelwald, we’ll probably hear more about the relationship between the Hogwarts headteacher and evil wizard in years to come.