'Fantastic Beasts' Director Defends Johnny Depp Against Abuse Allegations: "It's a Dead Issue"

'Fantastic Beasts' Director Defends Johnny Depp Against Abuse Allegations: 'It's a Dead Issue'
If you're a massive Harry Potter fan but still haven't managed to see last year's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, congrats on being the laziest fan in the world. Also, beware of the following spoiler — the film had a surprise cameo from Johnny Depp, revealing him to be the character of Gellert Grindelwald. Of course, the appearance was probably best left uncredited — last year Depp was accused of physical and emotional abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard while also being outed as an allegedly lazy actor

Depp's bad reputation led many to protest his casting as Grindelwald, with Potter fans begging for him to be recast in the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel. Rather than switch up the roles, however, Yates has doubled down on his decision to place Depp in the film.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Yates said he's happy to work with Depp because the actor is cordial on set.

"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," Yates said. "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 explain that other women have supposedly stood up for Depp against the allegations that he beat Heard while they were still married.

"By testament, some of the women in [Depp's] life have said the same thing — 'that's not the human being we know,'" Yates said. "It's very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn't in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn't bear any more analysis. It's a dead issue."

In other words, it sounds like Yates won't change his mind about Depp before Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theatres on November 16, 2018.