Daniel Radcliffe has some strong opinions on Johnny Depp's casting in 'Fantastic Beasts'
Ever since The New York Times published a list of allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein back in October last year, the media has been hot on the topic of sexual harassment. Actresses such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd stepped forward to usher in the #MeToo campaign, Time magazine made the Silence Breakers their 'Person of the Year', and the Time's Up initiative has been set up in order to end sexual harassment culture and inequality in the workplace.
While all of this has been going on, various celebrities have been outed as perpetrators of sexual abuse. Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, and Aziz Ansari, for example, have all been exposed as having harassed or behaved inappropriately towards vulnerable people.
Other public figures have also had their names brought up during the scandal - though not for any new allegations. Woody Allen has been mentioned due to old accusations of sexual harassment and child abuse, and Roman Polanski is frequently brought up in debates about how abusers are treated in Hollywood (spoiler: they often get away with it).
Another person whose name has resurfaced during these discussions is Johnny Depp.
The 54-year-old actor infamously made headlines after he was accused of assaulting his then-wife, Amber Heard.
Though the abuse has been disputed - mainly because Heard settled in court - the actress originally filed for divorce because, according to her: "during the entirety of [their] relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to [her]".
Heard's claims were later backed up by friends, and, even in the joint statement at their divorce settlement, the couple admitted that their "relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm."
Understandably, then, people are upset that the actor is still being given major film roles.
Most recently, Depp was announced as one of the stars of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the latest installment in the Harry Potter franchise.
Despite the outcry on Twitter, the producers refused to re-cast the role, and even JK Rowling spoke up to voice her support for the decision:
"Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies."
But now, Harry Potter himself has stepped up to address the issue of hiring someone who has known violent tendencies.
"I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that," said Daniel Radcliffe, referencing Rowling's dismissal of claims that Depp should not be included in the film.
He went on:
"I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said—and this is a weird analogy to draw — but in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the original 'Potter' film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that."
The alleged violence toward Heard was not the run-in with the law that Depp has had, either. In 1989, he assaulted a security guard after getting a noise complaint about a party he was hosting, and in 1999 he was involved in a physical brawl with paparazzi.
If someone can miss out on a job opportunity because of "weed", as Radcliffe said, then it seems hugely hypocritical to then allow a violent abuser that same job.
This just goes to show that the Time's Up initiative still has a lot of work to do, but at least people like Daniel Radcliffe are speaking up about what they believe is right.