Daniel Radcliffe Addresses Johnny Depp Casting Controversy

The controversy that has surrounded the decision to keep actor Johnny Depp in the role of Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise is one that we’ve discussed at length here at MuggleNet. We’ve questioned if it is possible to separate an actor from his craft, and we’ve questioned if Depp is the right choice for the franchise. J.K. Rowling herself has even spoken out about the casting decision.

Now, Daniel Radcliffe has weighed in on the debate too. When asked by Entertainment Weekly (also known as EW) what he thought about the decision to keep Depp on as a member of the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Daniel made his position clear. (It should be noted here that the decision to cast Depp in the first Fantastic Beasts film was made prior to the domestic abuse allegations made by ex-wife Amber Heard.)

Describing it as “a very hard thing for [him]” to address, Daniel noted to EW that he was still grateful for the opportunities that the film’s producers had given him. He said, however, that he could understand the public’s frustration with the matter. He additionally drew a comparison to the controversy that has surrounded the actions of players in the National Football League (NFL).

I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that … I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed, and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that, and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players.

Daniel also raised the point that a fellow cast member from the Harry Potter films had gotten in trouble for his use of marijuana.

I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.

As Entertainment Weekly adds, Daniel’s comments are in reference to actor Jamie Waylett (Vincent Crabbe), who was charged for possession of the drug in 2009 and was subsequently let go from the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

One distinction between the two cases – as also raised by EW – is that Jamie Waylett was charged with a crime, while Johnny Depp has not been criminally charged with abuse. While we do not know to what extent this has played a role in the positions taken by J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., and others, it is certainly another point to add to the ongoing discussion on accountability.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released later this year, on November 16, 2018.