‘Fantastic Beasts’ Boycotters Battled With Johnny Depp Fans On Twitter [Opinion]

Johnny Depp will star in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Some on Twitter were reported to be so displeased with the casting they are threatening to boycott the film, according to Digital Spy. Depp fans took up the hashtag #johnnydeppismygrindelwald. These two fronts clashed mightily on Twitter from November 16-20, then gradually, the protesting fury declined over the Thanksgiving weekend.

The Twitter battle for or against Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald first escalated on November 16, gaining the attention of several news outlets. One might point out, though, the media was involved in the Twitter fight from the onset.

Forces against Johnny Depp being in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, got a couple of tweets with thousands of “likes” early on, including a post by Vanity Fair’s Katey Rich, who joined the fray on November 16, at 9:17 a.m. using no hashtags. Katey just posted to her 18,600 followers and apparently stirred her own fan base. Rich said it was “not too late” to replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

J.K. Rowling, however, made her decision last year before making Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Rowling is quoted on Buzz Feed.

“Johnny Depp is a real artist. He’s created several characters who have really resonated in our popular culture. He’s a really brilliant, brilliant actor. We were excited about seeing what he would do with this guy, the character. He’s fearless; he’s imaginative; he’s ambitious.”

Katey Rich of Vanity Fair tweeted her response to that.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is next big installment of the Harry Potter movies. For many Harry Potter fans, the only bad thing about the new Fantastic Beasts is the release date. Fans must wait until November of 2018 to see the Crimes of Grindelwald. Harry Potter fans on Twitter say they can’t wait.

Despite an early lead by attackers, Johnny Depp found support from his massive fan base, who not only defended Johnny’s reputation on Twitter, but also thanked J.K. Rowling for “casting Johnny as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts 2.”

Some Colin Farrell fans wish that he had been cast as Grindelwald instead of Johnny Depp. They just like Colin Farrell, and would really like to see him star in Fantastic Beasts instead of Johnny. Other tweets were more disturbing.

Some Johnny Depp detractors tweeted third-wave feminist venom against Johnny Depp, and men in general, saying a woman who claims to be abused should not be questioned or doubted. Emily Lindin said she believed Amber Heard’s account against Johnny, just because she is the woman in the situation. See her tweet below captured by @JdeppLove.

Is Johnny Depp’s divorce from Amber Heard a socio-political issue now? Politicizing a failed romance seems odd, but that is what’s happening. Apparently, no evidence is required for a politically correct, media-based conviction. According to the post above, Amber’s statements can’t be questioned, and Johnny Depp’s reputation is of no concern, even if allegations could be false.

Many of Johnny Depp’s detractors seem ill-informed about the case. After all, law enforcement found no sign of a crime. Using the logic in the above tweet, though, it doesn’t matter what really happened. Johnny Depp is a man so he is guilty, and any effort to prove him innocent is detrimental to the feminist cause, at least according to the tweets above, and other comments. Still, perhaps others attacking J.K. Rowling and the movie franchise Fantastic Beasts, merit a reply.

Johnny Depp and J.K. Rowling have known each other for a long time. Depp sold her his yacht many years ago. Rowling might not agree with Johnny Depp detractors about what happened, but more than that, she wants the best actor for the job.

Most importantly, J.K. Rowling wrote the books and created the characters. If she says Johnny Depp is the best fit for Grindelwald then who can argue? It is her story.

Johnny Depp kneels and looks upward
Johnny Depp kneels and looks upward by Ken Ishii Getty Images

Johnny Depp fans rose in defense of their beloved icon on Twitter, eventually overwhelming the highly publicized, if less than tenacious Fantastic Beasts boycott, at least on many corners of Twitter. Some tweets were posted by known feminist activists, who are not known for their love of Harry Potter. A look at their home pages showed far more tweets about the evils of patriarchy and dragging up sex scandals than there were about Rowling’s works. By November 20, most of the posts against Johnny Depp were getting few or no likes, and Depp fans had blanketed the topic, putting out the fire.

Caught amid the fray are real Harry Potter fans, who want to talk about the movie, and anticipate a year-long wait to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Must they endure this nonsense for an entire year?

Johnny Depp lovers say the situation is tremendously unfair. A blitz of negative tweets about Johnny Depp appeared on Twitter, with feminist activists and at least one high-level media editor contributing tweets against him. Then came the media reports springing up about the negative tweets, with little coverage to the valiant battle waged by Johnny’s fans.

While the media often reports negatively about Johnny Depp, it seems probable that most movie fans still adore the actor. What if these attacks are not even about Johnny Depp? Are feminists, as stated in the tweet thread captured above, just using Depp to make a point? Is this fair?

Johnny Depp will star in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which can be seen in theaters one year from now.

[Featured Image by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP Images]