So while Depp and Heard (publicly at least) chose to put this behind them, the mess was already public, and perception of Depp had been tainted. When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, some fans were displeased simply because they felt Depp had overstayed his welcome in the "over-the-top characters" department.
"Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies", Rowling concluded.
Depp plays Gellert Grindelwald in the "Fantastic Beasts" series, a planned five-part "Harry Potter" spinoff Rowling is both writing and producing with Warner Bros. And though Depp's multi-picture role in the Fantastic Beasts saga continues to attract controversy, J.K. Rowling sincerely believes that the private matter has been settled.
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She later donated her entire $7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles.
Rowling's statement was immediately met with an outcry on Twitter, from fans accusing Rowling hypocrisy to expressing their deep disappointment in her.
It's all part of a growing chorus of voices trying to oust allegedly abusive men from media, from Harvey Weinstein to Charlie Rose.
Director David Yates and producer David Heyman also released statements saying they stood by the decision "to have Johnny in the films", adding that they "recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed".
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But in the end, Rowling and the movie's director, David Yates, chose to keep him. Now Rowling finally has commented on the Grindelwald casting on her own website, but fans are not happy with the way she's addressing the allegations.
In a subsequent lawsuit Heard made further allegations of abuse against Depp.
"Honestly there's an issue at the moment where there's a lot of people being accused of things, they're being accused by multiple victims, and it's compelling and frightening", Yates said. "With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something". "As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn't happen".
The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been hard, frustrating and at times painful. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn't governable by committee. Some fans just don't think Depp looks right for the role (that weird platinum hair!), or is a good fit overall.
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