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.

  • Meeps Magpie

    No, Johnny Depp was not charged with anything. And people are still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, in my opinion. If accusations were all that were needed to make a person guilty – that would make for a scary, unjust world for us to live in, wouldn’t it?

    • Lisa

      And sometimes jerks get away with crimes simply because word stands against word. This is also a fact. Whether something is proven or not has nothing to do with whether it actually happened. Innocent people can be sentenced for crimes they didn’t commit and guilty people can get away with murder. What happens in a court of law doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the truth.

      If Kevin Spacey was fired from House of Cards without a formal conviction then why is JKR so against recasting Grindelwald? That’s what I’m wondering.

      • Meeps Magpie

        And sometimes innocent people get accused of crimes, they haven’t committed. And in the present day’s climate many seems to belive, that once accused also guilty …

        • Lisa

          You are aware that crimes like domestic abuse or sexual assault have notoriously low conviction rates, right? I wouldn’t worry too much about the wrong guy being put in jail, I would worry about the right guy not being put there.

          Being accused doesn’t mean you’re guilty. It does mean you *might* be guilty, however. Fantastic Beasts *might* have an abuser in a main role. JKR *might* be supporting a wife beater. To many of us the simple possibility of Depp being guilty is enough to question this casting choice. To many of us an actor who hasn’t been accused of anything would have been a better choice and more in tune with what the books (and Rowling herself) claim to stand for.

          • Meeps Magpie

            OK, we can fire the police, judge, juries, lawyers. An accusation is enough. I give up … I hope, you or somebody you love will never be accused of something you haven’t done. Then you would, with the worldview you all have, have to consider yourself or your loved one guilty no matter how innocent you are.

          • Lisa

            Clearly you don’t understand what I’m saying at all if that’s your response.

          • Hannah Abbott

            You clearly don’t understand the issue with your posts. . .you poor snowflake.

          • Lisa

            And FYI if I were accused of something like that I would have the decency to extract myself from a project directed at children or young people and with a large female audience. I can always make money somewhere else.

      • Vexie

        The reason why JKR is against recasting Gindelwald is because she believes Depp is innocent. Anyone who has actually followed the case knows that Amber’s actions were extremely shady — from the extortion letter she sent Depp, four days after his mother died, to Amber avoiding giving her deposition three times.

    • Hannah Abbott

      Weinstein has never been charged with any crime, either. . . .its that your standard? You poor thing!

      • Meeps Magpie

        Thank you for showing compassion for me 😉
        But yes, it actually is.
        I do NOT like this new trend, where accusations are eough to condemn a man or a woman and rob them of their livelihoods and often families too!

        There is the difference though between Weinstein and Depp, that many woman has accused Weinstein – rightly or wrongly I can’t say, since none of it has been proven in court – whereas only one woman has accused Depp, and that only after he said “No” to paying her alimony, and other people in the press had blamed her for being a gold-digger, and asked, why she had to divorce him right after his mother died. Two or three days after that actually.

      • Vexie

        Weinstein was accused of sexual misconduct by over 30 women. Johnny has only been accused of domestic abuse by one woman, while all his exes have come forward to defend him saying he was never abusive towards them. See the difference? It’s rather silly of you to try to compare Depp to Weinstein.

        • Hannah Abbott

          Its rather silly that you get to choose who is credible and who isn’t. Depp has a long history of bizarre behavior. In the past year he has accused his business managers of stealing from him. . . .remember when he ran the ViperRoom? Just a place where drugs flowed freely and good times for all. .until River Phoenix died. .. .You don’t want to believe Depp is a scumbag. . . and you don’t want to admit that beating up his wife is bad because “he only has one accuser”… .is that how it works? You get to beat up one woman before you consider it real? Really? Wow

          • Vexie

            What long history of bizarre behavior would that be?
            Depp is suing his former business managers because his new managers went through his files and discovered they had been stealing from him and were the cause of him owing so much money.
            Are you trying to say Depp is responsible for River’s death?
            I don’t know Depp on a personal level, so I wouldn’t know if he was a scumbag or not. But so far, outside the messy divorce, there wasn’t any indicator that he was one.
            Depp has NO history of domestic abuse with his previous exes. Do you realize how amazing it is that all his exes actually came forward and defended him? This shows that his behavior has no abusive pattern. It seems strange, that after all these years, he suddenly became abusive.

  • MFD

    From what I have heard about the accusations made against Depp by his ex-wife is that she filed a claim and it was dismissed. Despite the evidence she provided in the form of pictures and statements.

    • Vexie

      His ex-wife(Amber Heard) dismissed the case with prejudice, right before their first day in court. The evidence she provided wasn’t concrete evidence that Depp abused her.

      • Hannah Abbott

        Just like the pictures Nicole Brown had….they didn’t prove OJ beat her. .. . yeah, Vexie, you don’t make much sense. sorry

        • Vexie

          Actually it does make sense. Let’s say, for example, I accidentally trip and end up bruising my face against the edge of a table. Or I self inflict bruises on my face with punches, or pay a friend to hit me. OR I use make-up and apply fake bruises on my face. Then, I take a selfie of the bruises and tell everyone you abused me. See how easy that is? That is why Amber’s photos weren’t concrete evidence. And it doesn’t help that she didn’t even seek a doctor for her injuries.

      • MFD

        Well, if she did make things up or exaggerate, then that’s a really shitty thing to do.
        It makes it less likely that real victims will come forward.

  • Hannah Abbott

    Depp has exhibited bizarre behavior for decades. He says his business manager stole millions, He said his wife was bad. . .even though she has pictures of being beaten up. . . He ran a bar in Hollywood where drugs flowed freely and River Phoenix died. .. never Johnny’s fault. Johnny Depp should not be part of anything related to the world of Harry Potter. If the welfare queen had any respect for her material she would step of and say so. Instead, Yates and Heyman continue to destroy the movies and the story. .. .

  • Kat

    It’s funny that people forget that Gary Oldman was also accused of beating his wife in front of their children years ago. But I’ve never heard anything about that from Potter fans. Mind you, I do try to separate the art from the artist (for the most part).