Sir Ian McKellen is an out and proud gay actor who has spent years championing the cause of the LGBT community so his disappointment at Dumbledore not being given an explicitly gay narrative in the Fantastic Beasts sequel is understandable.
The actor was asked about the lack of homosexual characters in films, with the Harry Potter prequel cited as an example. The film’s director David Yates had earlier this year confirmed that the Hogwarts teacher (played by Jude Law) would not see his sexuality explicitly explored in the new movie.
Time Out mentioned this to McKellen and he responded, “Isn’t he? That’s a pity. Well, nobody looks to Hollywood for social commentary, do they?”
The actor, who is promoting his documentary McKellen: Playing the Part, made a larger point about the diversity of Hollywood.
“They only recently discovered that there were black people in the world,” he said. “Hollywood has mistreated women in every possible way throughout its history.
“Gay men don’t exist – [1998 movie] Gods and Monsters, I think, was the beginning of Hollywood admitting that there were gay people knocking around, even though half of Hollywood is gay.”
JK Rowling confirmed the character was gay after the release of her Harry Potter book series though did not explicitly confirm it on the page or in the eight movies of the original film franchise.
Fans were hoping that the Fantastic Beasts, set to feature five movies, would properly explore Dumbledore’s sexuality but it looks like they might have to wait until the third film or later.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will be released on November 16, 2018
McKellen: Playing the Part is released this Friday