“A lot of us were born in the 60′s. It was a big generation. A lot of things came out of the 60′s. Fantastic things. And a lot these things are still here. Like people who are 50. Like the brand Marc O’Polo. Like some of the cars that we loved. And we still make them shiny and drive around in them. So it’s a retro year and I’m part of it.” -Mads Mikkelsen
I wasn’t going to write this post, I really wasn’t, but I’ve seen a lot of the chatter and it seems to be placing a lot of blame on J.K. Rowling, assuming she has a lot of control with casting and such, but the fact of the matter is there’s a lot going on that we simply do not know.
I would like to preface this with the fact that my defense lies in the fact that she is not the one who perpetrated any kind of abuse. She is not the one who should be under scrutiny, because in the end she is not the one being accused of anything. I truly believe that this issue has been so blown out of proportion that we have decided to intensely scrutinize her, rather than the person at the center of it all: Johnny Depp. And we should first and foremost remember this issue is about him and his actions. And while I am seriously disappointed in the decision of keeping him with work rather than getting rid of him, because it does send the message that, hey, you can be charming as fuck and get away with anything, and I do believe that is gross, I also believe that focusing on her has gotten out of hand. But, this post is not about Johnny Depp, because somehow we are not talking about him. Instead we are talking about a person who just happens to be writing the script for the movie he is in. And if it ever comes to light that J.K. Rowling did perpetrate any kind of abuse towards any one person, then I will rescind all of the following.
So, a lot of people have rightly pointed out that this is an odd decision on J.K. Rowling’s part because we’ve seen a lot of commentary on abuse throughout her Harry Potter series, both in the original books and in the recent Fantastic Beast films, not only that, but she did suffer domestic abuse in her first marriage. I’m not sure to what extent, and Wikipedia does not say it was ever an outright fact, but it seems to be a reasonable conclusion, especially since J.K. Rowling put in so much of her own experiences into the novels and it does not seem a stretch to believe.
This is why this is so shocking. J.K. Rowling is historically a person who supports good causes. She has been known to feel guilty about spending so much on herself, that she has given to charity in equal amounts and knocked herself off the list of billionaires donating so much of that personal fortune to charity. She founded Lumos, an organization that is dedicated to ending orphanages around the world and placing children back into homes with families and with people who love and want them. J.K. Rowling has often spoken out against a number of issues and has supported a number of others. It is unusual that she would write the words, verbatim of being “genuinely happy” about his casting.
So, here it is.
J.K. Rowling is first and foremost a writer. Anyone familiar with any of the Harry Potter books or even the Fantastic Beasts movie itself, knows just how brilliant of a writer she is. The way she uses words is honestly astounding to me to this very day. J.K. Rowling knows how to craft a sentence. She knows exactly which words to use and she picks her words very carefully and very wisely. As such, I think it is very prudent to examine the words of her actual letter.
First, we have her notorious tweet that started it all.
“I’m saying what I can”
This implies, that there’s a lot keeping her hands tied about talking about the subject fully. This implies that there’s contracts upon contracts that keep her from truly expressing what she was wishes to and that this letter was simply written out of necessity and demand to hear her very specific and private thoughts on the issue. It was clear that once David Yates spoke out and said they were definitely keeping him, fans wanted to go to the person who they cherished above all else when it came to this series, Jo herself. This clearly implies there’s a lot that wants to be said, but legally cannot be said.
Within the letter itself we next get this:
“For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful.”
Again, this implies that there is a lot keeping her hands tied and that she potentially wanted to say a lot from the very beginning, but once again, she could not. Although I am not speaking from the point-of-view of someone who is in the know within the business, one thing I do know is that actors, especially well known ones, get contracts when they sign on to movies. There is no doubt that Johnny Depp’s contract in particular included a lot of legalese to prevent her and potentially anyone else to speak out on the situation. From what I can tell, the rest of the cast has also remained strangely quiet, which says a lot about the fact that not much can be said where this particular issue is concerned.
And as a result, we also can assume that part of the reason J.K. Rowling spoke up, was allowed to speak up, was because the fans were demanding it. After all, there was a lot of discourse immediately after the Yates’ comments about how Jo could have nothing to say on the issue. It is most likely that she was then told to make a statement addressing it, WB perhaps hoped it would quell some of the negativity surrounding the film. No production studio likes bad press, especially a year away from the release of the movie itself.
“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.”
This paragraph was particularly difficult to digest, I feel. It had a feeling of Umbridge’s speech at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix. Wherein, she had a lot to say with certain words that could be difficult to comprehend unless you were reading between the lines. However, after a lot of discussion with a group of friends (all of us were very split on how to feel, many of them dismissing a lot of what she had to say, while me and another friend took time to read and digest her words thoroughly), we determined that essentially this paragraph had this to say (thanks to my friend Margaux who came up with this interpretation, that I agree with):
“I know many of you are going to be pissed, but we can’t forced WB to give a shit about this issue and we are legally bound to say these words and use Johnny Depp, regardless of how hard anyone complains. I understand if you decide to not watch this movie.”
The last and final point I will make is the timing of this statement. Jo is usually very quick to jump on issues, as anyone who follows her on twitter will know. She responds almost immediately whenever it is something that is near and dear to her heart and she has no qualms about stating how she feels whether it’s about politics or about a celebrity figure or about her dog or husband. Rowling has never held back when it matters. That being said, it took several days following Yates’ comments to respond. As a friend of a friend who deals with PR and crisis management said for this kind of stuff there are two things going on here: one, they had her make that statement most likely because WB felt having her say something was better than not saying anything at all, and two, this statement was heavily edited and made the rounds through several levels of corporate proofreading before being approved to be published for public viewing.
This means that regardless of Jo’s actual opinion, people were always going to make sure she said what they wanted her to say. No doubt Depp has powerful lawyers and a huge contract with details of what can and cannot be said as well as details about whether he can or cannot be fired and most definitely details about how his divorce and domestic abuse of Amber Heard is to be dealt with. Odds are that WB would rather take their chances on this movie than risk being sued by Depp. Odds are that Jo had feelings that were not properly conveyed through this letter, but unfortunately contracts and lawyers kept her silent for days, before approving a statement that they made her release in order to silence worried fans.
This attempt clearly backfired.
My one, biggest disappointment is that Jo said this: “genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.” I cannot speak for her nor anyone else involved in this movie, but I do firmly believed this phrasing is wrong and to say she is genuinely happy is probably the biggest mistake with this statement. Perhaps she meant it. Perhaps these words were added by WB or otherwise pressured by Depp and his lawyers in order with keeping with Yates’ statements. Whatever the reason, these words are what wounded me, and probably most fans, the worst. I will not defend this particular line.
That being said, I do believe there is a lot that is not being said and that cannot be said, whether it is because of WB and their lawyers or because of Depp’s own contractual obligations and legalese. I do believe this issue is bigger than this statement and J.K. Rowling herself and I also believe we cannot lose sight of the actual issue at hand: Johnny Depp is a domestic abuser which is the real inexcusable crime.
WB is actively trying to apologize for his actions, which is an inexcusable stance.
J.K. Rowling is tangled up in something that is really out of her control. I also truly believe, people can make mistakes, and this was indeed a big mistake on her part. But as humans, we are prone to error and that is a part of life we cannot avoid. We also cannot constantly crucify each other for these mishaps, and instead must learn to grow from them.
Listen, he technically hasn’t done anything wrong.
But every single picture he’s in, he looks fantastic.
There are like 50 RTX pics where someone just spontaneously came up to him, said, “hey can I get a picture?” And he was like sure, and then he looked stunning.
On the fly picture taking is not allowed to be this photogenic. @thetrevorc , Imma need you to stop and share with the rest of us. My selfie game needs help and can’t take the pressure.
how can you compare colin farrell's performance to johnny depp's when the later just had a tiny cameo
look, i got like 4 of these and they’re basically all the same, so i’ll just respond to this one.
farrell established a grindelwald that was dark, obviously evil and misguided, but kind of still down to earth? like his actions made sense in their own twisted way and you felt like he really was a calm, collected, manipulative mastermind. so far so good. but immediately after he was turned back, grindelwald acted differently. it didn’t take more than the 30 seconds to see that. he was staring weirdly, talking differently and combined with the strange hairdo and overall appearance i’d guess they’re going down the ‘deranged psychopath’ train.
which is fitting. cos that’s the only thing depp has been doing for the last few years. idk maybe it’s my bias against domestic abusers that makes me overly critical, but nearly all of depp’s recent bigger roles were eccentric weird guys (potc, mortecai, dark shadows, alice in wonderland, into the woods). some might say it’s not his faut, he’s being typecast, bla bla, but i’m almost convinced it’s the only thing he CAN do at this point? idk what happened, but if you look at him in interviews or his appearance in general, you don’t get the impression of a well adjusted man.
so, if you’re okay with a possibly genius evil mastermind being portrayed as a zany old dude with weird hair and you’re willing to ignore the whole convicted domestic abuser thing: good for you.
i, for my part, am already mourning the potential this character had.
Percival doesn’t like milkshakes. However he always come to the same coffee day after day to order one, as an excuse to talk to the adorable waiter who works there, hoping one day he would be able to ask him on a date…