Warner Bros. Studio admitted to cutting dialogue from “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” to appease Chinese censors.
The company said that they made “minor edits” in response to the Chinese government’s request that six seconds of dialogue referring to Albus Dumbledore’s (Jude Law) same-sex relationship with franchise villian Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) be removed from the film.
“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,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.
“Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets. In the case of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,’ a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros. accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact,” the statement continued.
“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.”
“Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” author J.K. Rowling previously revealed that the beloved Hogwarts headmaster was gay at a fan event. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the censored lines included “I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love.”
“Fantastic Beasts” is only the most recent film to raise the hackles of Chinese censors. In January, 1999’s “Fight Club” was chopped to bits when the financial chaos-inducing ending was replaced with an authoritarian inspired friendly cue card, which stated that police arrested Brad Pitt’s character and foiled his plan.
The country’s censors also came for Warner Bros. hit franchises “Matrix” and “John Wick,” removing both series from top streaming platforms, after leading man Keanu Reeves appeared virtually at a benefit concert for Tibet, which China has forcibly occupied since 1951.