Chinese censors are at it again and this time their target is references to a gay relationship in the new film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

The sequel to the Harry Potter spin-off series opened last week in China, which is battling a fresh COVID-19 outbreak. Avid moviegoers, however, noticed that the movie was missing some scenes from the version that had been released in other parts of the world. 

The Chinese authorities had reportedly censored six seconds from the film that referred to a past romantic relationship between Albus Dumbledore played by Jude Law and Gellert Grindelwald, portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen.

Dumbledore Comes Out

Author J K Rowling had in the past revealed that Dumbledore was gay, but this was never mentioned in any of the books. The film was the first one that acknowledged that the characters of Dumbledore and Grindelwald shared a romantic past. In China, however, the lines, “Because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love” were cut from the movie. 

The studio insisted that despite the cuts the “spirit of the movie remains intact”. In a statement to the Australian website, Warner Brothers said that the studio was “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.”

China has been recently increasingly cracking down on the LGBTQI community and content including forcing Grindr to go off App Store, targeting LGBTQI students’ WeChat accounts and enacting rules to ban effeminate male actors on TV.

China Asked For Cuts

The studio said that a six-second cut was requested by the Chinese authorities and “Warner Bros accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact”. 

“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.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore opened in Australia, China, UK and other international markets last weekend ahead of its release in the United States on April 15. The movie made around $5.23 million topping the Australian box office and over $58 million at the international box office.


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