Backlash as director David Yates defends Johnny Depp casting in Fantastic Beasts 2

Ben Arnold

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them director David Yates has defended Johnny Depp, following fan anger at his casting in the movie’s sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Depp has been at the centre of controversy over allegations that he assaulted his now ex-wife Amber Heard while they were married.

Speaking the Entertainment Weekly, Yates sided with Depp, while discussing the litany of abuse scandals currently gripping Hollywood.

“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,” he 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.

“By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know’.

“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.”

Some of Depp’s exes have indeed stood up in his defence, such as previous ex-wife Vanessa Paradis, and Winona Ryder, who said that he ‘was never abusive at all… I only know him as a really good, loving, caring guy’.

But that’s not placated fans, many of whom have reacted furiously:

Some have even tagged in Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts writer J.K. Rowling personally:

Heard accused Depp of being violent towards her prior to their split last year, after which she applied for a temporary restraining order against him.

But Depp’s lawyers claimed that Heard was alleging abuse in order to ‘secure a premature financial resolution’ in their divorce.

They reached a settlement last summer, releasing a joint statement which denied any physical altercations between them.

“Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love,” it read.

“There was never an intent of physical or emotional harm. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gains.

“Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future.”

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