References to the beloved Harry Potter character Albus Dumbledore being a gay man have been censored from the upcoming fantasy film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
Fans of the Wizarding World franchise met Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in 2016's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and were introduced to Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) as the main antagonist in 2018's The Crimes of Grindelwald. Now, the third movie in the Harry Potter prequel series – dubbed The Secrets of Dumbledore – will presumably be all about Dumbledore’s personal life as a younger man, with the relationship between him and Grindelwald (now played by Mads Mikkelsen) reportedly being the main plot point.
And yet, it's being reported that lines of dialogue that refer to Dumbledore being gay (specifically “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love”) have been cut from the version of The Secrets of Dumbledore that will be released in China. This is completely counter-intuitive for a movie that, as the title suggests, was meant to explore certain “secrets” of Dumbledore that fans weren’t aware of from reading the Harry Potter books – where Dumbledore was simply depicted as the headmaster of Hogwarts and as a mentor to Potter.
In response to the cut, Warner Bros. issued a statement to News.com.au:
“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. Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets. In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact.”
It's a shame that, in 2022, certain countries are still censoring LGBTQIA+ characters in film and television. Hopefully, references to Dumbledore’s sexual orientation won’t be cut from the movie in other countries. Not only is this queer representation in a major blockbuster movie, but it is also a major plot point for longtime fans of Harry Potter.