Warner Bros. chopped gay dialogue out of its new blockbuster sequel “Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore” to gain the approval of Chinese censors.
When it comes to getting the go-ahead to reach China’s 1.4 billion-person market, silencing gay references proved to be no big deal for the Hollywood studio. In a classic case of artistic sleight of hand, Warner Bros. describes its censorship as “nuanced cuts” and “minor edits.”
Six seconds of the 142-minute runtime that included the dialogue “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love” hit the editing room floor. Author J.K. Rowling revealed in 2007 that Dumbledore (Jude Law) was gay, but the lines between he and Grindewald (Mads Mikkelson), is the first in the three films to explicitly acknowledge this.
A Warner Bros. spokesperson confirmed that Chinese authorities “requested” the cut and the company complied to meet “local requirements, but the spirit of the film remains intact.”
A barrage of criticism is coming in from critics accusing the movie studio of derailing “tolerance and acceptance.” Of more concern should be the utter hypocrisy of these stalwarts of free artistic expression caving to a communist dictatorship simply for access to their market.
Hollywood productions make billions annually in China, and U.S. film companies are tailoring casting, storylines, and dialogue to please its censors. Everything from prominent Tibetan characters to the Taiwanese flag are being sliced from major pictures such as “Dr. Strange,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and others.
Disney, the once family-friendly entertainment giant, is aghast at Florida’s stand against teaching gender identity and sexual orientation to kindergarteners. This is the same company that filmed its live-action “Mulan” blockbuster in China’s Xinjiang province. That’s the same Xinjiang province where millions of Uyghur Muslims are captives in internment camps.
All of this cowardice comes from an industry that has zero reluctance to cast the U.S. as a villainous country responsible for most of the world’s ills. Woke stars do not hesitate to parade the slightest perceived injustice as proof that American capitalism is decadent and corrupt. It’s funny how these self-righteous and morally “courageous” stands fly out the window when profit margins are threatened.