Controversy with the new “Fantastic Beasts”

Emma Zomerman

It’s finally here! The day all wizards, witches and muggles have been waiting for. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” is almost in theaters. Grab all your magic loving friends because you do not want to miss the latest in what is happening with this J.K Rowling story.

If you haven’t seen the first one or haven’t seen it in a while, make sure you watch it before going to see this thrilling part two. A quick recap: the story takes place in 1926 shortly after Newt Scamander finished his journey collecting and researching rare, magical creatures. As he stops through New York, some of Newt’s creatures escape. Luckily, Newt runs into Jacob, a local muggle or No-Maj as they say in America and they go on an adventure to collect all the creatures and stop from exposing magic. All the while, Grindelwald, the dark wizard played by Johnny Depp, is tipping the balance between magic. During Newt and Jacobs adventure, they add to their group Tina and Queenie as they set on the quest to save the magic world. Graves soon finds out about Newt’s mistake and believes he is in cohorts with Grindelwald. Graves has Newt, Tina and Jacob arrested and sentenced Newt and Tina to death. Queenie ends up saving the three and they finish their mission. In the end, Jacob’s memory is wiped and Graves is revealed to be Grindelwald and he was arrested immediately. The film left us hearts warmed but also intrigued about Grindelwald and his story.

The “Fantastic Beast” movies may be exciting to watch, however, with the controversy behind Johnny Depp, his abuse allegations and the fact that he is still playing one of the main characters in such a large, respected franchise is worrisome.

Sahana Prasad, the Interpersonal Violence Service Coordinator at Oregon State University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, talked about how seeing someone with such strong allegations in such a popular film affect views. Prasad mentioned how since Johnny Depp is a white and powerful male, it is not uncommon to see these claims be dismissed. However, Prasad said, “The active decision by writers, producers, directors, etc. to include abusers in projects like this contributes directly to rape culture, in that it sends an implicit message to survivors that their experiences don’t matter, and that thos­e who cause harm don’t have to face consequences for it.”

Prasad went on to explain how keeping Johnny Depp and actors like him in films shows that the victims life doesn’t matter. “They are allowed to continue their careers and maintain public success, while survivors with the courage to come forward are met with disbelief, are shamed, or even face threats of additional violence,” Prasad mentioned.

It is discouraging to women and other men to come forward with their experiences with sexual assault and violence when we consistently see it happen with people we used to look up to now getting away with it because of their fame, race, gender and money. While it may be disheartening, it is still important to report these actions and start the healing process. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault or is affected by what they are seeing in the media, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services at or the Survivor Advocacy & Resources Center at  

Although there may be some controversy with the decisions in the casting of this film, you might not want to miss out on the continuum of this magical narrative.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” comes out on Nov. 15, 2018. Find it at Regal Ninth Street Four Cinemas at 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. or at AMC CLASSIC Corvallis 12 at 5:00 p.m. and 8:15 p.m.

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