One of the most anticipated films of 2018 – Fantastic Beasts 2 – has come under fire for the production team's decision to keep Johnny Depp on board in the role of Gellert Grindelwald. Back in 2016, Depp was accused of domestic abuse by his then-wife Amber Heard. Today, the movie's director David Yates has broken his silence on the matter.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Yates has defended his choice by singing the praises of the 54-year-old actor – a bold move considering the scandals that have been blowing up around Hollywood. He said:
"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."
Yates went on to add that Vanessa Paradis also came forward to defend her ex-husband, stating to TMZ that he was "a really good, loving, caring guy." A different vision of the actor has, however, been shared by the crew that worked on the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie which detailed "train-wreck" behavior.
J.K. Rowling said she was "delighted" with the casting choice but has not mentioned anything about his critics since the controversy first arose. Harry Potter fans have been protesting Warner Bros' decision to keep Depp involved in the project, with many now planning to boycott the upcoming film.