Daniel Radcliff, the face of the entire Harry Potter franchise, has finally spoken out regarding the controversy regarding Johnny Depp's casting in the Fantastic Beasts films.
After Depp was revealed to be playing the title character in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, fans began asking Warner Bros. to remove the actor from the important role. They pointed to abuse allegations made against Depp by his ex-wife Amber Heard. Instead, writer J.K. Rowling, director David Yates, and the Warner Bros. studio as a whole came to Depp's aid, defending the actor.
While speaking with EW about the situation, Radcliffe took a much different approach.
"It's a really hard thing for me,' Radcliffe said. As he continued, he explained that he understood why people are upset, and that maybe these problems don't always shake out the way that they should.
“I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that," Radcliffe admitted. "I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.”
Radcliffe is referring to Jamie Waylett, who played Vincent Crabbe in the first six Harry Potter films. He was replaced heading into the two-movie finale, following his arrest for growing 10 marijuana plants in 2009.
While Radcliffe understands the frustration of the fans, he also made sure to note that he still wanted to support the filmmakers behind Fantastic Beasts, saying, "[They] gave me a great start in life and an amazing job." Rowling created Harry Potter, the character Radcliffe played for eight films, and Yates directed the actor in four of them.
Despite the controversy, Johnny Depp is still slated to appear in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald when it hits theaters on November 16.