But one studio piped down quickly once China wanted an LGBT relationship cut from the new “Harry Potter” movie.
According to the Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday, Warner Bros., one of Tinsel Town’s biggest players, responded to objections by Chinese officials by axing a reference to a homosexual relationship in the new “Harry Potter” spin-off, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.”
In order “to appease the Chinese government,” the Reporter noted, “the studio has taken out clear references to Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald’s (Mads Mikkelsen) romantic past.”
Warner censored the lines “I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love.”
Those words “officially make it canon for the first time in the Harry Potter franchise that the beloved Hogwarts professor is gay and had a romantic relationship with the dark wizard,” the Reporter noted.
“The cuts amount to just six seconds of the film’s 143-minute runtime, but are rather pivotal to establishing the characters.”
Much like the NBA in its selective outcrying over social justice, Warner acknowledged that money was the driving factor.
“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,” a studio spokesperson told the Reporter.
“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,” Warner’s spokesperson continued, “and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits.”
Meanwhile, last month, according to the website Deadline.com, an organization representing screenwriters urged studios to quit making films in Florida as a way to protest the state’s new Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans focused on sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3.
“The Writers Guild of America West believes in free speech and in the power of storytelling,” the group said in a statement a month ago.
“Any narrative that chooses to erase sexuality and gender identity ignores the existence and the basic humanity of LGBTQ+ persons. This is true when talking about the fictional stories created by our union’s members, and equally true when talking about the real-world legislation emerging in multiple states around our country — laws that seek to muzzle educators from even mentioning the word ‘gay’ without risking a lawsuit, and others that seek to criminalize parents who wish to affirm their child’s gender.”
This, of course, is a complete falsehood about the new law. Nothing in its text forbids anyone from saying the word “gay,” and it does not stop students from seeking informal counseling from teachers if they have questions about sexual identity.