Warner Bros is being slammed for removing a six-second LGBTQ+ scene from the international release of its upcoming film Secrets of Dumbledore in China to appease the Communist country’s censors.
The third film in the Fantastic Beast series, which will be released on April 15, featured a six-second clip that alluded to a romantic past between Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen).
The lines ‘because I was in love with you’ and ‘the summer Gellert and I fell in love’ were cut, Warner Bros explained in a statement.
The movie production company said it ‘accepted China’s request to remove six seconds from the movie,’ which runs for 142 minutes.
Caving in to China’s censors, who allow only a handful of LGBT references each year, was quickly met with derision from fans and movie critics.
‘A major studio works its magic, making tolerance and acceptance disappear,’ wrote Julia Hinds of the Detroit Free Press.
LGBTQ publication Out Magazine slammed the company on Twitter, writing: ‘It’s a shame that, in 2022, certain countries are still censoring LGBTQIA+ characters in film and television.’
Author of the bestselling series JK Rowling announced in 2009 that Dumbledore was gay, but this is the first film or novel to explore his sexuality.
Vox Editor Matt Collette wrote: ‘Lololol, “Only six seconds of the movie’s 142-minute runtime were removed.” So it seems likely that Warner Bros and JKR were never particularly willing to go there either.’
Insider Intelligence’s Jeremy Goldman wrote: ‘Warner Bros. cut some Fantastic Beasts 3’s gay dialogue in China. Ah, China, you never cease to not surprise us.’
Warner Bros have faced backlash over cutting a six-second clip in the Chinese release of the third Fantastic Beast movie because it features a clip of Dumbledore (right, in a vest) alluding to a romantic past with another male character Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen)
The lines ‘because I was in love with you’ and ‘the summer Gellert and I fell in love’ were cut, Warner Bros explained in a statement. Author JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore *Jude Law) was gay in 2009 but this is the first film or novel to explore his sexuality or mention his relationship with Grindelwald (pictured)
Editor at the Future of the Force, a film and tv fan website, Thomas Storaï said: ‘WB shouldn’t have accepted, they simply shouldn’t have released the movie in China, removing the Gay dialogue means removing a crucial part of the movie…Dumbledore’s feelings for Grindelwald are an essential part of the movie.’
Fan Max wrote on Twitter: ‘The sum total of The Secrets of Dumbledore’s “groundbreaking mainstream gay representation” is six seconds.’
Despite the six-second cut, the studio said the ‘spirit of the film remains intact.’
‘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,’ the studio told Variety. ‘Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets.
‘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.’
Rowling teased fans when the first movie was announced that the series would explore Dumbledore’s sexuality throughout the five-part series, but backlash was met when Director David Yates said the character’s sexuality would not be ‘explicitly’ explored in the second film, according to HuffPost.
‘You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man — he wasn’t always the sage. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned…watch this space,’ she told Entertainment Weekly in 2018.
Several fans and critics slammed Warner Bros decision to cut the six minute clip
The author herself has been caught in transphobic controversies over the years. In 2020, Rowling took to Twitter, allegedly taking offense to the phrase: People who menstruate. She wrote: ‘”People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?’
She also said: ‘If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.
‘I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.’