Harry Potter fans have recently been calling for J.K. Rowling to make a statement about the casting of Johnny Depp as Gellert Grinelwald in the upcoming FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWAND. The calls came after Johnny Depp was alleged to have been abusive towards his ex-wife Amber Heard in the past and the pair have subsequently released a statement about the allegations:

“our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains.”

As the world of Harry Potter gathered to weigh in on the issue, THE CRIMES OF GRINDELWALD director David Yates released the following statement in defence of Depp’s casting:

“Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

He then added, “By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know.’ It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

Yates then went on to discuss the matter further when Warner Bros. released the following update:

“None of us involved in Fantastic Beasts would ever let our appreciation of talent obscure other, far more important considerations. We recognized the magnitude of the issues raised and understood the strength of feeling expressed. We hoped and strived at all times to be sensitive to both parties. We stand by our decision to have Johnny in the films.”

Now Potter creator J.K. Rowling has finally come out and made her own statement about the casting of Johnny Depp in such a pivotal role and what she has to say is interesting to say the least:

“When Johnny Depp was cast as Grindelwald, I thought he’d be wonderful in the role. However, around the time of filming his cameo in the first movie, stories had appeared in the press that deeply concerned me and everyone most closely involved in the franchise.

Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Deppin the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.

The huge, mutually supportive community that has grown up around Harry Potter is one of the greatest joys of my life. For me personally, the inability to speak openly to fans about this issue has been difficult, frustrating and at times painful. However, the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected.  Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies.

I’ve loved writing the first two screenplays and I can’t wait for fans to see ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald’. I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role. However, conscience isn’t governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing.”

Well, what do you .all think about this? Should Depp have been recast or are they correct in keeping him on in the role? Strike back below!