On Separating Art From Its Creator || Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Johnny Depp

Hey friends! Another post this week! I’m on a total roll! And this is a post I really care about too so I’m going to be trying my hardest to respond to comments today instead of doing all the other responsible student things in preparation for 120942348uowiejkfsd tests in the next three days!!! It’s about (can you guess from the title?) the new Fantastic Beasts movie,ย Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald.ย (I think I made a pretty nice spoof title if I do say so myself lol).

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If you read my blog, I make no secret of the fact that I’m a HUGE Potterhead. I’m basically a slave to the series. Just take my money. Tell me your secrets. Take me to Hogwarts and give me my letter. I even made two Harry Potter related posts this week (shameless self promo), which was not even planned or in thought to the new movie or each other, it just happened to be so that should show you how much I love it.

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Anyways, that being said, I love and own all the books and movies and love them. I went to see Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them I think like 2 days after it was released in 2016 and I loved it and it was amazing. I adore Harry Potter lore. I really really want to get back into the amazing Wizarding World, explore more about Dumbledore’s backstory, return to Hogwarts, see the magic, EVERYTHING.

BUT. I would also call myself a proud feminist, and a huge supporter of the #metoo and #timesup movements. And as you probably know, Johnny Depp, who plays the titular character Grindlewald, was accused of abusing his former wife, Amber Heard. And the fact that JK Rowling and the FB casting director/team decided to keep him in their movie after this controversy came out is…very upsetting. I’ve heard arguments that it is a movie, and perhaps it’s important that Depp was the best man for the part. I disagree: no matter what

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Being a woman isย scary. In one class last year, my teacher revealed that, statistically speaking, five of us girls in the room would be raped, and to have it said so bluntly like that was terrifying. The way that female survivors continue to be stigmatized and pushed to the side is not believed is scary. So with everything I stand for and believe in, supporting this movie, supporting Johnny Depp feels very wrong.

Still, I won’t lie, the movie with all its Harry Potter references looks amazing from the trailers and I really want to see it. And most of my friends want to see it, and I’m insecure and would probably feel sad if they all watched it and hung out without me.

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So this poses the question: should we separate art from its creator? In this case it’s a movie and Depp is the actor, but this could also stand for a book and its author, a song and its singer, fine art and its painter, anything. It has me wondering if it’s morally right for me to enjoy the amazing world of Harry Potter and disconnect it from the real life people who made it, or if they are inseparable and to support the film is to support the actor. After all, when I give my money to support this movie, I am, in a way, giving my money to support the man I can not support.

I do want to bring up a little side note on JK Rowling here. I definitely have some problems with her (only Asian is Nagini, adding back diversity via tweets, siding with Depp), but ultimately Harry Potter was a huge part of my life before all of this, before all the books were even out and quite the magnitude they are today, and so I suppose I’ll always cherish that childish nostalgia. And while some of her actions are questionable, nothing is quite so bad as the actions of Depp. So I suppose I can continue to cherish the books that have their own life in my life apart from their author.

 

Johnny Depp, on the other hand, I find vile and horrible. I heard arguments that he is an actor and may be the best man for the role, but I can’t quite agree that his skills should go above his actions, should be separate. And I’m sure with a franchise this beloved there were hundreds or thousands of other incredible actors who would love the part and perform it just as well or better.

So honestly…I’m torn. This movie just came out today (the day I’m writing it is Friday, so a couple days before I’m posting) and to be quite honest, I have not yet decided if I’m going to be seeing it. I’m thinking that I might not see it in theaters, but wait until it’s out on DVD and I can rent it so I can still see my amazing Potter Universe, but not contribute to the box office success that I’m sure producers are analyzing.

 

Let’s Chat!

Do you think you can separate the artist from their work? Will you be watching the Crimes of Grindewald? I’d really love to know because I’m definitely still torn on this myself and I’d love to chat in the comments below so I can get more perspective before making my decision ๐Ÿ™‚

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15 thoughts on “On Separating Art From Its Creator || Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Johnny Depp

  1. Ugh this is my exact dilemma. I don’t want to support anything that Johnny Depp has done, but I want to be able to enjoy the world of Harry Potter.
    In this case I think it’s important to remember that he is not the only one working on this movie. In the case of a writer and a book or an artist and a song, it’s a little more black and white, since there is one (or at least much fewer) creators involved. But there are dozens of other actors in this movie, as well as hundreds of people behind the scenes, that I want to be able to support. It’s so frustrating! The easy solution would just be to fire Johnny Depp but hey they’re not gonna make it that easy for us ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great post! ๐Ÿ˜Š I can’t stand Johnny Depp, and am only going to see the movie because I want to see more of the wizarding world and of Credence! I have little respect for J K Rowling anymore, between her saying ‘oh yes, my books are so diverse -this one was actually *insert minority group name here* the entire time!’ And the fact that she made the decision to leave out Dumbledore’s sexuality from The Crimes Of Grindelwald – a movie setting the stage around him and his lover – is ridiculous!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally agree! If you don’t want to include his sexuality then fine but then don’t pretend you’re being diverse. (but not really fine because this is 2018 and we need diversity and your wizarding world is so gigantic and filled with sooo many straight relationships you would think at least one couple would be lgbt but at least own up to the fact that you’re world isn’t diverse; don’t pretend to be better than you really are)

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  3. To be perfectly honest, they could have cast Grindelwald without Depp. He is awful, I don’t particularly care for him or his acting style, and I do find it disturbing how on board the whole cast including JK Rowling was with keeping him on after all the allegations.
    That all being said, I also grew up in love with Harry Potter. I have so many fond memories of those stories, and loved them long before anyone started criticizing them as they do today. I feel like SO MANY THINGS are under a microscope nowadays that it feels like we aren’t ALLOWED to enjoy anything without someone being offended by it. The arguements that Harry Potter is trash because it isn’t diverse enough really hurt me. Mostly because it is true, but it is sadly not something that I paid much attention to until after someone pointed it out, 20 years later.
    So while I don’t like Depp and think he could have been easily replaced, I also feel like if you love Harry Potter, you deserve to immerse yourself in that magical world if you so choose. I think it is perfectly alright to separate yourself from the allegations and the criticisms and just enjoy something because it makes you happy.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for commenting, Samantha ๐Ÿ™‚ Depp as Grindelwald just seems weird from the trailers ngl why does he look so weird and pale like all the other weird roles Depp plays (Mad Hatter, Willy Wonka…) and also why did Rowling always always always insist on British actors and then suddenly go for an American even though Grindelwald isn’t American… I totally agree that I don’t like people critisicing HP for not being diverse though and I definitely still love it โค

      Liked by 2 people

  4. for me, i’m unable to separate the art from the artist. if i have a problem with or dislike the actions of the author, i’m unable to see their art as something separate from them, and it often taints the whole thing for me. so i guess ignorance would be bliss in this case but that doesn’t usually happen! very thoughtful post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I feel this post so much! I’ve been having such a hard time making a decision about what to do & I think I’m going to read the screenplay, but not watch the film – then I still get the story, but without Depp ruining it for me! However, I’ve not read a screenplay before (I’ve got the one for the first film but I’ve not actually read it) so I’m not sure if my dyslexic brain will cope ๐Ÿ˜ If that fails, I’ll probably do what you’re planning to do, & rent it from the library so I don’t pay out for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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