Chinese netizens weigh in on the dialogue cut from ‘Fantastic Beasts 3’ confirming same-sex romance
Published: Apr 13, 2022 07:29 PM
Promotional material of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Photo: Snapshot of Sina Weibo

Promotional material of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Photo: Snapshot of Sina Weibo

 Warner Brothers published a statement Tuesday admitting that six seconds of dialogue confirming a same-sex relationship between two main characters had been removed from the Chinese mainland version of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. The statement, however, defended the move, saying the change did not affect the integrity of the movie.

The two edited lines -"because I was in love with you" and "the summer Gellert and I fell in love" - clearly disclose the relationship between the wizards Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, as such "without comprehensive and thorough administration of a rating system, these lines might influence young teens who lack critical thinking skills," according to one Chinese movie critic. 

According to the company, the rest of the film remains intact, including an understanding that Dumbledore and Grindelwald sharing an intimate bond. 

In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros accepted this change to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact," said the statement.

"We want audiences everywhere in the world to see and enjoy this film, and it's important to us that Chinese audiences have the opportunity to experience it as well, even with these minor edits," the statement added.

Shi Chuan, vice chairman of the Shanghai Film Association, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the cut does not affect the movie and that Chinese audiences are seeing an intact story.

He noted that the fantasy genre is a favorite among teenagers and younger groups. And since China lacks a rating system for movies, such straightforward lines of dialogue may influence them.

Some Chinese netizens said they were excited that the movie confirmed the relationship between the two male characters, but that they still regretted they were not able to hear the lines spoken out loud on screen

"Although the lines were removed, I still believed in and was touched by the love between Dumbledore and Grindelwald," a Beijing-based fan of the series and the Harry Potter movies who watched the movie as soon as it debuted in the mainland on Friday, told the Global Times.

"If there is another movie in the series, I still hope to see more stories about the couple, who are both lovers and enemies at the same time. I found their interaction very exciting," she added. 

According to the plans announced by Warner Bros, the Wizarding World spinoff is set to consist of five films in total.

Since the first installment of the series was released in 2017, Dumbledore and Grindelwald have been a very popular couple on Chinese social media, where they are known as "GGAD." 

Some fans of the Harry Potter series told the Global Times that the cut did not bother them as even if they had been kept, they couldn't have saved the film. 

Continuing falling since its debut, the film currently has a low 6.2/10 on Chinese media review platform Douban from among 83,000 reviews. Many reviews complained about the lack of fantastic beasts in a movie titled Fantastic Beasts. 

The film broke the 70 million yuan ($10.9 million) mark at the mainland box office on its sixth day of release.