BANG Showbiz English
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore’ has had all gay references edited out for its release in China.
The movie – which has a rumoured budget of $200 million – has had six seconds of dialogue removed between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, roles played by Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen.
Of the decision, Warner Brothers said: “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.”
Lines removed from the movie – which is a part of the prequel series to the Harry Potter books – include “Because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love” for Chinese audiences.
The studio maintains that with the cuts “the spirit of the film remains intact” as the censored movie still contains allusions of their close relationship.
Censorship is not new to western cultural exports to China as in 2019, the Freddie Mercury biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was changed to remove all mentions of the Queen frontman’s homosexuality. This follows an array of anti-LGBT moves from the government – which is led by Xi Jinping – including a clampdown on dating apps such as Grindr.
In China, the movie debuted in the box office top spot last weekend, however internationally the flick has proved to be a financial disappointment after taking only $58 million in 22 markets.