Warner Bros. has cut references to Dumbledore’s and Grindelwald’s same-sex relationship in Fantastic Beast: The Secrets of Dumbledore for its release in China.
The edits were made to meet the requirements of Chinese censors, which would not allow for allusions to a gay relationship. Only six seconds have reportedly been cut from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in order to comply with China’s requirements. According to News.com.au, the cut material included just two lines of dialogue referring to the previous romance between Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore and Mads Mikkelsen’s Gellert Grindelwald – “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love.”
The romantic relationship between the two male characters was implicitly hinted at in the final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. However, it was never explicitly stated that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were a couple. Author J.K. Rowling drew criticism for only revealing Dumbledore was gay after the final novel had been released, apparently declining to show a gay romance in the books, which could potentially have been a source of positive representation for the LGBT+ community.
The Fantastic Beasts films offered a fresh opportunity to explore the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, though it has not been acknowledged prior to the upcoming third installment. Many Harry Potter fans and LGBT advocates will surely be disappointed to hear what little representation is offered by the film is already being censored in China.
Warner Bros. emphasized that “the spirit of the film remains intact,” despite the “minor edits,” in a statement made to Variety:
“As a studio, we’re committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors… Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets.
“In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros. accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact… We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits.”
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was released in China this weekend, where it opened at #1, earning almost $10 million.
Here is the synopsis for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore:
Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?
Directed by David Yates from a screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, the film stars Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.
The new film will hit theaters on April 15, 2022. Stay tuned for all the latest news surrounding the upcoming film and be sure to subscribe to Heroic Hollywood’s YouTube channel for more original video content.