J.K. Rowling has stood by Johnny Depp’s casting in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and while generally her fans are quite supportive of her, this time around her fanbase was left unhappy.
Johnny, who is accused of domestic abuse against ex-wife Amber Heard, was seemingly given a clean chit. This was seen to be contrasting of Rowling, who has openly spoken in defence of women frequently. We ask authors and social thinkers about the Harry Potter creator’s decision, and what it means coming from a feminist icon like her.
She said that Depp should be allowed to act in films. Personal issues shouldn’t come into the workplace, she said.
“Of course, being accused of domestic violence or physical abuse is a really serious matter, but he’s not been proven guilty by law”, she said.
Babitha Marina Justin, writer and artist, said “In the past, we have seen Rowling be territorial about her work. For instance, she once heavily sued a television show Hari Putter, an Indian adaptation, for violating copyrights. And, her defense doesn’t come to me as a surprise. It is again not surprising that certain self-made men and women, who are icons who are looked up to, behave in a clannish manner. They swipe away the ethics and ideals they profess through their work. Such a statement unfortunately serves as an implicit endorsement to all that feminism has fought for.”
Indrajit Lankesh, Indian Filmmaker, said “I understand why J.K. Rowling would defend Johnny Depp — he is a huge star and the Harry Potter films is a multi-million dollar enterprise. So a lot of investment has already been made. But, at the same time, we cannot deny the fact that Johnny Depp has had a bad record in the past. So, the backlash was in a way justified because for any actor, whether in India or any part of the world, their social behaviour is a huge concern mainly because it reflects on the youth today. Since the Harry Potter franchise is a family-friendly series, it will have a huge impact on their branding.”