Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald just keeps facing drama. The fan outrage following director David Yates’ statement about Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality in Fantastic Beasts 2 has led to J.K Rowling responding in not the best manner.
Fans have been waiting for years to know more about Albus Dumbledore, many hoping the wizard’s sexuality will be addressed in his appearance in Crimes of Grindelwald.
If some of you need a refresher, J.K Rowling confirmed Dumbledore as gay while speaking at Carnegie Hall in 2007. Though it’s not explicitly stated in any of the Harry Potter books and accompanying material, according to Rowling, Albus was in love (unrequited) with Gellert Grindelwald, his childhood friend. After years of friendship, the two powerful wizards battled it out, with Albus winning.
“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” Rowling said back in 2007. She described Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald as a “great tragedy.”
After hearing Rowling say all of these things, it makes sense why fans have been waiting years for Albus’ sexuality to be addressed in a better manner. Excitement increased when young Albus (played by Jude Law) was announced to appear in Fantastic Beasts 2. You can’t tell Grindlewald’s story without talking about his relationship with Albus, right?
Well, it seems you can.
According to what Yates said, during an interview with Entertainment Weekly, you shouldn’t hold your breath to see Dumbledore’s sexuality being addressed in Fantastic Beasts 2, at least not “explicitly” because Yates thinks fans already know about it.
“He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men,” said Yates. “They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
Yates statement led to fan disappointment and outrage, leading them to ask Rowling about it. Now, I get that fans can say rude things online when trying to convey their message. However, the way Rowling responded to the resulting fan concerns wasn’t the proper answer. She just told them to wait, as if the fandom hasn’t been doing that already.
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
Also, let’s face it, Rowling telling fans to wait still isn’t confirmation Albus’ sexuality and his relationship with Grindelwald will be addressed in Fantastic Beasts 3, 4, or even 5. Her response feels similar to how showrunners ask fans to wait a few more seasons for possible queer inclusion. Or how Kathleen Kennedy has been talking about making Star Wars queer-inclusive but is yet to deliver, again asking fans to wait.
Now, I get that J.K Rowling, like any other creator out there, can decide what she wants to write about. However, my problem with her work has to do with her stance on various issues. She’s all about LGBTQIA+ rights and more diversity, but she is yet to show it through her craft. It’s unfortunate to see how she hasn’t really evolved as a writer.
Furthermore, it’s sad how the fandom has latched on to Albus for queer representation (a single character) when it’s a fact that Rowling had years to introduce other queer characters that didn’t have Albus’ emotional baggage. Who knows why she didn’t introduce more queerness in a sea of heteronormative relationships.
Maybe she just doesn’t want to? Maybe she’s okay with siding with LGBTQIA+ issues in the real world but doesn’t want to deal with any of it in her fictional work?
First, Rowling’s stance on keeping Depp and now this.
As an author myself, I do my best to depict my stance on similar issues in my writing, trying to evolve for the better.
Show, don’t tell, Rowling. Show, don’t tell.
As far as my opinion goes, I don’t think Albus and Grindelwald’s queer relationship will ever be explicitly talked about in the film series. Warner Bros. needs to make money and queer content does get films banned in major markets. However, why Rowling hasn’t included diversity and inclusion in her written work is another story.
I suggest accepting that Rowling just isn’t interested in her work being diverse, regardless of her opinions on issues in the real world. She had a lot of time to do better, yet she didn’t step up.
As for some people saying Albus’ sexuality shouldn’t factor into the plot because relationships and sexuality isn’t a part of the Harry Potter franchise, I say, do take your homophobic being away from here. The Harry Potter franchise is all about relationships and love, it’s just that you all have a problem with anything that isn’t heteronormative.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on November 16, 2018.
Do you think we’ll ever get to see Albus’ sexuality be addressed in the Fantastic Beasts series? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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