Harry Potter prequel chops dialogue about gay character's lover to appease China's LGBT censorship

JK Rowling announced Dumbledore was gay in 2009 and said the Fantastic Beast films would explore his sexuality

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Warner Bros has chopped a scene about a gay character’s lover from their Harry Potter prequel the “Secrets of Dumbledore” to appease China’s LGBT censorship.

Six seconds of dialogue, that alludes to the gay relationship between male characters Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), was edited out of the Fantastic Beasts third film, set to be released on 15 April.

Author JK Rowling announced that Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of the wizarding school Hogwarts, was gay in 2009 adding that the spin-off prequel series would explore his sexuality.

Warner Bros explained in a statement that the lines "because I was in love with you" and "the summer Gellert and I fell in love" were cut from the 142-minute film upon a request from authorities in Beijing.

Jude Law arrives for the World Premiere of Fantastic Beasts
Jude Law arrives for the World Premiere of Fantastic Beasts
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Richard Coyle as Aberforth from the new Fantastic Beasts film
Jude Law as Albus Dumbledore and Richard Coyle as Aberforth from the new Fantastic Beasts film

The production company has since been slammed for the decision.

Out Magazine, an LGBT publication, said on Twitter: “It's a shame that, in 2022, certain countries are still censoring LGBTQIA+ characters in film and television."

Julia Hinds of the Detroit Free Press wrote: “A major studio works its magic, making tolerance and acceptance disappear.”

Others were concerned the edit ruined the motif of the highly anticipated film.

Editor at the Future of the Force, a film and TV fan website, Thomas Storaï said: 'WB shouldn't have accepted, they simply shouldn't have released the movie in China, removing the gay dialogue means removing a crucial part of the movie...Dumbledore's feelings for Grindelwald are an essential part of the movie."

Warner Bros insisted in their statement that the “spirit of the film remains intact”.

The production company told Variety: “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.

“Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets."

They added: “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.”