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Johnny Depp Should Be Recast in Fantastic Beasts Franchise Over Abuse Allegations

Johnny Depp Should Be Recast in 'Fantastic Beasts' Franchise Over Abuse Allegations

Johnny Depp Should Be Recast in 'Fantastic Beasts' Franchise Over Abuse Allegations

And shame on Rowling for enabling an abuser.

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Abusive men in Hollywood are dropping like flies, and Pirates of the Carribean star Johnny Depp may be the next pest to be swatted.

Fans of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are calling for Depp's removal from the franchise after last year's abuse allegations from ex-wife Amber Heard. The two separated in May of 2016 after the bisexual actress filed for a restraining order against Depp over domestic abuse, claiming the actor had recently thrown a cell phone at her face with a bruised cheek as evidence.

"During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me," said Heard in court. "I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him."

Depp denied the abuse allegations, calling them "salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation, and lies," and accusing Heard of making them up to "extend her fifteen minutes of fame."

After fan outrage with Depp's continued involvement in the franchise and starring role in the upcoming sequel, The Crimes of Grindelwald, Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling addressed the allegations in a statement. 

"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,'" said Warner Bros. representatives. "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."

Breaking her silence on the subject, J.K. Rowling took it a step further yesterday with a blog post

"Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role," she wrote. "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 accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role," Rowling continued. "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."

Heard was not "genuinely happy" with the responses, especially with Warner Bros. for using her words out of context to spin the story in their favor. When WB cited Depp and Heard's statement, they cherrypicked the line "there was never any intent of physical or emotional harm" to minimize Depp's misconduct.

The full statement reads:

"Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love.

Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains. There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. 

Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to charity."

"For the record, this was our FULL joint statement," tweeted Heard. "To pick and choose certain lines and quote them out of context, is not right. Women, stay strong."

Fans don't appreciate Rowling and Warner Bros.' endorsement of Depp or the messy attempt to brush domestic abuse under the rug. Even more fervent about the actor's removal from the franchise, videos of Depp's violent 2016 tantrum have resurfaced and are circulating on Twitter and Instagram.

At the moment, it seems Warner Bros. and Rowling are comfortable with not holding Depp accountable for his actions and are plowing ahead with production. Expected to be a huge blockbuster, it's unclear how much Depp's involvement with the film will hurt the bottom line.

Honestly, WB should bring back Colin Farrell to play Grindelwald and we'll all just pretend like that transfiguration scene in the last movie didn't happen. Abusers no longer have a place in Hollywood, especially in a franchise as beloved as this one, and Rowling and WB are tainting their own work by allowing Depp to drag Harry Potter's name through the mud more than the Daily Prophet.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!