Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald introduces a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law), the epic wizard headmaster of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. It follows this beloved character’s pursuit of the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), through the heart of Paris. Capturing fans imaginations equally, was the fact that Dumbledore’s sexuality would be revealed in the latest Fantastic Beasts installment. Now Crimes of Grindelwald director, David Yates, has backtracked and told the press that Dumbledore’s sexuality is something that the audience is aware of, but it is not clearly depicted in the movie.
According to Out, J.K. Rowling alluded to the fact that Dumbledore’s sexuality would be explored during an upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie.
“You will see Dumbledore as a young man and quite a troubled man – he wasn’t always the sage… We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned… watch this space.”
In 2007, Rowling told a Carnegie Hall audience that Dumbledore was gay. She revealed that during their youth, Grindelwald and Dumbledore had fallen in love before Dumbledore discovered Grindelwald’s true nature, according to Collider. Since the author’s revelation, fans have understandably been waiting for this revelation to come to the forefront in the Harry Potter universe. However, given the perfect opportunity to reveal Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s sexual preferences, the Fantastic Beasts sequel fails the LGBTQ community once again.
Yates told Entertainment Weekly that Dumbledore’s homosexuality will not clarify the wizard’s sexuality. He adds that Harry Potter fans are aware of Grindelwald and Dumbledore’s relationship, but the fact that such an integral part of the wizard’s character has been omitted is confusing and angering audiences. David confirms to EW that the two master wizards were in love, but somehow it fails to form part of the storyline.
“He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other.”
Disturbed fans have been very vocal about the Fantastic Beasts sequel on social media. Feelings are rife that Dumbledore’s LGBTQ status is being marginalized, and that the omission of his gay status is purposeful. Social media is awash with the sentiment that by not confirming Dumbledore’s homosexuality, the movie “marginalizes queer people.”
Refinery points out that although the Carnegie Hall audiences applauded J.K. Rowling’s announcement in 2007, critics later pointed out that vocally affirming a character’s homosexuality and putting pen to paper are two different things. For now, it seems as if the Fantastic Beasts franchise is only paying lip service to the LGBTQ cause, but are choosing to refrain from actual commitment.