Daniel Radcliffe Reacts to Johnny Depp 'Fantastic Beasts' Casting Backlash

Fans called for Depp to be fired from the franchise.

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the wake of sexual assault allegations against a slew of Hollywood stars in 2017, audiences worldwide have become understandably more stringent in who they want to watch on the big screen. And when allegations were brought against Kevin Spacey, his role in All the Money in the World was swiftly recast, despite there being less than a month until the movie's release date.

So when photos of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald emerged, the world was reminded of the domestic abuse claims Amber Heard made against Depp during divorce proceedings. J.K. Rowling fans called for the actor to be replaced, citing Spacey's quick replacement as the perfect example.

However, Rowling defended the decision to keep Depp in the movie saying, "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."

Now, Daniel Radcliffe has weighed in on the controversial decision to stand by Depp, but he's a lot less forgiving than Rowling. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Radcliffe said:

"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. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the original 'Potter' film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that."

Radcliffe's response is so smart because, while suggesting that actors have been fired from the Harry Potter franchise for much less than Depp has been accused of, he manages to stay classy and fairly neutral. Well, as neutral as someone can be while sneakily suggesting that Depp's role in the Fantastic Beasts franchise should be recast immediately...
Amy Mackelden

Amy Mackelden is a freelance writer, editor, and disability activist. Her bylines include Harper's BAZAAR, Nicki Swift, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, ELLE, The Independent, Bustle, Healthline, and HelloGiggles. She co-edited The Emma Press Anthology of Illness, and previously spent all of her money on Kylie Cosmetics.