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Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros is accused of removing a six-second LGBTQ+ scene from the international release of its upcoming film Secrets of Dumbledore in China in order to appease the communist country’s censors.

The third film in the Fantastic Beast series, due out April 15, featured a six-second clip hinting at a romantic past between Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen).

The “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love” lines were cut, Warner Bros explained in a statement.

The film production company said it “accepted China’s request to remove six seconds from the film,” which runs for 142 minutes.

Giving in to the Chinese censors, who only allow a handful of LGBT references a year, was soon mocked by fans and film critics.

“A big studio works its magic, making tolerance and acceptance disappear,” wrote Julia Hinds of the Detroit Free Press.

LGBTQ publication Out Magazine criticized the company on Twitter, writing: “It’s a shame that in 2022 certain countries are still censoring LGBTQIA+ characters in film and television.”

Bestselling series author JK Rowling announced in 2009 that Dumbledore was gay, but this is the first film or novel to explore his sexuality.

Vox Editor Matt Collette wrote: “Lololol, “Only six seconds of the 142 minute film length have been removed.” So it seems likely that Warner Bros and JKR were never really willing to go there either.”

Jeremy Goldman of Insider Intelligence wrote, “Warner Bros. broke the gay dialogue of Fantastic Beasts 3 in China. Oh, China, you don’t keep surprising us.’

Warner Bros has faced backlash over the cutting of a six-second clip in the Chinese release of the third Fantastic Beast film because it includes a clip of Dumbledore (right, in a vest) referencing a romantic past involving a another male character Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen)

Warner Bros has faced backlash over the cutting of a six-second clip in the Chinese release of the third Fantastic Beast film because it includes a clip of Dumbledore (right, in a vest) referencing a romantic past involving a another male character Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen)

The rules

The “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love” lines were cut, Warner Bros explained in a statement. Author JK Rowling announced that Dumbledore *Jude Law) was gay in 2009, but this is the first film or novel to explore his sexuality or mention his relationship with Grindelwald (pictured)

Editor at Future of the Force, a website for film and TV fans, Thomas Storaï said: ‘WB shouldn’t have accepted, they just shouldn’t have released the film in China. Removing the gay dialogue means removing a crucial part of the film… Dumbledore’s feelings for Grindelwald are an essential part of the film.”

Fan Max wrote on Twitter: “The sum of The Secrets of Dumbledore’s ‘groundbreaking mainstream gay representation’ is six seconds.”

Despite the six-second cut, the studio said “the spirit of the film remains intact.”

“As a studio, we are committed to protecting the integrity of every film we release, as well as circumstances that require nuanced cuts to be made to respond sensitively to a variety of market factors,” the studio told Variety. “Our hope is to release our features globally as released by their creators, but in the past we’ve had to deal with minor edits in local markets.

“We want audiences all over the world to see and enjoy this film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences get the chance to experience it too, even with these small montages.”

Rowling teased fans when the first film announced that the series would explore Dumbledore’s sexuality throughout the five-part series, but reacted when director David Yates said the character’s sexuality would not be explored “explicitly” in the second film, according to HuffPost.

‘You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man—he wasn’t always the wise one. We will see him in that formative period of his life. As for his sexuality… watch this space,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2018.

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Warner Bros. slammed for removing LGBT scene from 'Secrets of Dumbledore' to appease Chinese censors

Several fans and critics denounce Warner Bros' decision to cut the six-minute clip

Several fans and critics denounce Warner Bros’ decision to cut the six-minute clip

The author himself has become entangled in transphobic controversies over the years. In 2020, Rowling took to Twitter and would take offense at the phrase: people who menstruate. She wrote: ‘”People who menstruate.” I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me. wumben? Wimp? Woomud?’

She also said, “If sex isn’t real, there’s no attraction between people of the same sex. If sex is not real, the lived reality of women worldwide is obliterated. I know and love transgender people, but obliterating the concept of sex removes the ability of many to talk meaningfully about their lives. It is not hate to speak the truth.

“I respect every trans person’s right to live in a way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I would walk with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being transgender. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being a woman. I don’t think it’s hateful to say that.’

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