Despite a promising start, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has become a bit of an albatross for Warner Brothers. 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them seemed to be a good starting place for the new Wizarding World franchise. Unfortunately, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was a mess with too many competing plots and very little imagination. JK Rowling certainly hasn’t helped the franchise. Not to mention, the various troubles with former franchise star, Johnny Depp. The franchise almost seems cursed.

Unfortunately, the latest installment, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, seems to be unable to break the curse. It seemed to have gained a bit of goodwill with fans by recasting Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen in the role of Grindelwald. However, JK Rowling and her views on the trans community have continued to create a negative cloud over the franchise. Additionally, new issues with Ezra Miller have also contributed to the franchise’s negative image. And now it seems we have yet another issue with the film’s release.

Gay Dialogue Cut In China Release For Fantastic Beasts 3

As confirmed by Variety, Warner Bros. has cut roughly six seconds that references the sexual orientation of certain characters. The cut lines are:  “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love”, for whatever reason. With those lines, Albus Dumbledore was acknowledged as gay on-screen for the first time. In a statement, Warner Bros. stated,

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,”.

Warner Bros. on the cut dialogue in Fantastic Beasts 3

Disappointing

This news is disappointing but not surprising. All studios have a history of removing references to homosexuality to meet release standards in China and other foreign markets. However, this usually leads to studios adding very inconsequential forms of representation in their films. Usually, it’s just characters in the background kissing, like in The Rise of Skywalker. You can just cut quick lines of dialogue. It is a shame that these studios would rather cater to foreign markets for the sake of profit than actually commit to having good on-screen representation.

We have started to see some improvement in on-screen representation. The character Phastos and his husband were featured in a scene that contributed to Eternals‘ cancelled release. Still, there is much work to be done in terms of on-screen representation not just for LGBTQ+ communities, but for POC, women, and many other minority groups as well.

What did you think of this news? Does the removed dialogue surprise you? Let us know by mentioning @ReviewedCinema on Twitter, and don’t miss Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore when it debuts exclusively in theaters on April 15, 2022.

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