By Megan McCluskey
December 7, 2017

J.K. Rowling has finally addressed the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s continued involvement in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

After Warner Bros. shared a cast photo in November that re-confirmed Depp was reprising his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald in the series’ second film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, some fans took to social media to criticize the decision. Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard amid a bitter divorce battle in 2016.

Now, Rowling has shared a blog post on her website in which she defends the decision to not recast the role. “I’m saying what I can about the Grindelwald casting issue here,” she tweeted alongside a link to the post.

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 difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected. 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.

The author went on to say that she has accepted the fact that some will still be dissatisfied with Depp remaining in the series. However, she believes it is the right choice.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald.’ 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. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is slated to hit theaters Nov. 16, 2018.

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