Speed Reads

the censorship of dumbledore

Fantastic Beasts sequel edited for China to remove references to Dumbledore's gay relationship

Dumbledore's gay relationship may remain a secret in China. 

Warner Bros. has removed dialogue from the latest Harry Potter prequel film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, that references a gay relationship for the movie's release in China, Variety reports. The edit was reportedly made at China's request. 

"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," Warner Bros. told Variety. "We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film, and it's important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits." 

According to Variety, two lines of dialogue were removed that indicate Dumbledore was romantically involved with a man, Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen): "Because I was in love with you" and "the summer Gellert and I fell in love." 

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling previously confirmed that Dumbledore is gay, though this was not explicit in the books, nor in any of the franchise's prior films. With the two lines removed, it's "understood there is still a close relationship between" Dumbledore and Grindelwald, News.com.au reports

This was just the latest example of a film being edited or banned overseas due to LGBTQ content. In 2019, the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was edited for China to excise references to Mercury's sexuality and his AIDS diagnosis, according to BBC News. Last November, the Marvel blockbuster Eternals was also banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar, apparently because it includes a same-sex couple who kiss on screen. The film was not released in China. 

Warner Bros. defended the Fantastic Beasts edit to Variety, saying it's "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."