​J.K. Rowling Defends Decision to Keep Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts' Sequel

"The filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies"
​J.K. Rowling Defends Decision to Keep Johnny Depp in 'Fantastic Beasts' Sequel
Johnny Depp will star in 2018's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, though many from within the Harry Potter fandom and beyond have criticized the decision because the actor was accused of physically and emotionally abusing his ex-wife Amber Heard last year.
The film's director David Yates previously defended Depp against the accusations, claiming that the actor he knew on set was "full of decency and kindness." Now, author of the Harry Potter series and screenwriter for the Fantastic Beasts spin-offs J.K. Rowling has weighed in on the controversial casting decision.
In a lengthy post on her website, Rowling explains that although she and others in the franchise were "deeply concerned" when Heard's accusations went public last year, "the agreements that have been put in place to protect the privacy of two people, both of whom have expressed a desire to get on with their lives, must be respected."
As such, Rowling claims that she and the filmmakers are not merely comfortable, but "genuinely happy" to see Depp continue on in the titular role of Grindelwald.
"I accept that there will be those who are not satisfied with our choice of actor in the title role," she concludes. "However, conscience isn't governable by committee. Within the fictional world and outside it, we all have to do what we believe to be the right thing."

Read the full post below.

UPDATE (12/8, 8:30 a.m. EST): Heard seems to have responded to Rowling's comments, taking to Twitter to share the full joint statement released by her and Depp in the wake of their divorce. The actress added that "to pick and choose certain lines and quote them out of context is not right."

Read the complete statement below.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will arrive in theatres on November 16.