Some fans are disappointed after David Yates told Entertainment Weekly that Albus Dumbledore, everyone’s favorite Hogwarts Headmaster, would be not portrayed as gay in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Yates’s answer to the question of whether or not Dumbledore’s sexuality would be explicitly portrayed:
“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.”
Not exactly the answer fans were looking for, as many took to Twitter to express their discontent with this narrative decision.
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
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
JK Rowling only said Dumbledore was gay because there weren't any risks, the books were finished. Now she's decided they aren't, there are risks again and she's chosen the same spineless path she's used to. She is no LGBTQ ally, 100% of y'all should never treat her like one.
— Stats Britain (@StatsBritain) February 1, 2018
Re: Dumbledore news.
You're making a movie about a man going to war against the man he loved, and you're telling me that tidbit somehow isn't relevant to the story?
I can't believe you're telling a good, believable story. Or that you understand the story you're telling.
— Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) February 1, 2018
Of course, Rowling argues that she wasn’t at the interview and that just because Dumbledore’s sexuality is not prominent in this film doesn’t mean it will not be so in the other three films:
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
It is exceedingly frustrating that JK Rowling wants the Harry Potter franchise to get brownie points for having representation without actually having representation. Some fans were skeptical when Rowling announced at a fan event after the publication of the last book that Dumbledore, who had never shown any inclination of amorous affection towards anyone, was gay. Dumbledore had loved a wizard in his youth named Gellert Grindelwald, with whom he shared many opinions until the unfortunate death of Dumbledore’s sister. Grindelwald went on to rise to power, become evil, and then be taken down before Voldemort came on the scene. Classic love story.
So why then isn’t this story of two ex-lovers meeting on the wizarding battlefield being treated like…well, a story of two ex-lovers? Jude Law, who will be playing the future headmaster, has never been shy about romantic scenes and Johnny Depp (playing Grindelwald), who isn’t a big hit with the franchise’s fans either, has never made any public qualms about it. It could be they are worried about the film getting banned in certain countries or that it will somehow affect the film’s bottom line at the box office. Still, the people have spoken, and they want Dumbledore to be out and proud.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will premiere in theaters on November 16, 2018.