David Heyman Speaks on Diversity in “Fantastic Beasts”

Back in August, J.K. Rowling addressed a concerned fan who was disheartened to notice that all the major actors and actresses cast so far in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were white. J.K. Rowling asked the fan to wait to judge until she’d seen the final product, assuring her that we wouldn’t only be seeing white faces in the new film trilogy. Now, producer David Heyman has spoken about the issue to Entertainment Weekly:

Like all of Jo Rowling’s works, [Fantastic Beasts] is populated with a variety of people, and that will be the same in this series over the course of the films. There will be people of various types of ethnicities. In New York in the 1920s, there was a segregation between white and black; the neighborhoods were largely separate, and that is reflected in [the film]. But the wizarding world is a much more open and tolerant society where people of color and different ethnic backgrounds exist harmoniously together. There are people of color filling this world in an organic way.

Heyman’s statement is not quite as reassuring as many fans would hope – while it’s good to know that the creators of the film are aiming to reflect the true diversity of 1920s New York City, having people of color in the background of the action is not the same as having them as characters who are central to the story. We know there’s a lot that can’t yet be revealed about the films, so we’re hoping that there will be some amazing, magical characters who are also people of color – because a wizarding world that doesn’t celebrate the same diversity we have in ours doesn’t seem very magical at all.

What else are you hoping will be revealed about the film in tomorrow’s issue of Entertainment Weekly? What bit of information has intrigued you most so far? Be sure to share your thoughts with us!

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.