entertainment

Fantastic Beasts 3: Dumbledore gay references removed for Chinese release

Warner Bros. has removed the line: "I was in love with you".

2022-04-13

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Warner Bros. Pictures

It has emerged that Warner Bros, the studio behind the Harry Potter series, and more recently the Potter prequel series, Fantastic Beasts, has censored some of the film's gay references, seemingly to appease Chinese censors. 

In the latest film, The Secrets of Dumbledore, a young Albus, played by Jude Law, is forced to enter the fight against his former friend and love interest, Gellert Grindelwald, played by Mads Mikkelsen.

As seen in previous promos, one scene would have seen Dumbledore declare "I was in love with you".

"The spirit of the film remains intact"

According to news.com.au, a six-second clip has been removed from the version of the film that will screen in China. Another line - "the summer Gellert and I fell in love" has also reportedly been removed. 

In a statement, Warner Bros said: "As a studio, we’re 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.

It goes on to say that "Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets." The studio references the six-second cut and that it complied with China's request.

"But the spirit of the film remains intact," it insists.

It adds, "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."

It's not the first time Chinese censors have impacted LGBTQ content. As well as edits to the Freddie Mercury biopic, China has also censored gay storylines in the TV show Friends, which has previously aired uncensored in the region.

The Chinese government then made headlines last September after banning depictions of effeminate men from TV. According to The Advocate, the National Radio and TV Administration told broadcasters to “resolutely put an end to sissy men and other abnormal esthetics.”

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