If you watch the movie “Fantastic Creatures 3: Dumbledore’s Secrets” at the cinema in China, you will miss a very special scene between Danish Mads Mikkelsen and American actor Jude Law.
Because to accommodate the Chinese government, the film company Warner Bros. has chosen to remove six crucial seconds in which the two actors – in the form of the hero Albus Dumbledore and the villain Gellert Grindelwald – reveal a love affair from the past.
Fans of the Harry Potter universe have known about it since the author JK Rowling revealed in 2007 that Albus Dumbledore, principal of the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, is gay. Though it was not mentioned directly in the books.
The romance is also not explicitly mentioned in the two previous ‘Fantastic Creatures’ films. Therefore, it is a crucial moment when the two wizards finally put words to the relationship in the cinema’s current ‘Fantastic Creatures 3: Dumbledore’s Secrets’.
“Because I was in love with you,” Albus Dumbledore says at one point to his former study buddy and later he casually mentions: “The summer when Gellert and I fell in love with each other.”
And it is these combined six seconds of dialogue that the Chinese are not allowed to see.
The love affair is crucial to the two wizards’ relationship, but Warner Bros. promises that it does not matter much to the ‘spirit of the film’ that these remarks are censored. “As a film company, we are committed to safeguarding the integrity of all the films we release, and that includes situations where it is necessary to make small adjustments to meet the boundaries of the various markets,” Warner Bros. said in a statement.
Homosexuality has been legal in China since 1997 and was removed from the country’s official list of mental disorders in 2001.
However, since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, the government has ordered the media to curb ‘vulgar, immoral and unhealthy’ content – which, according to the president, includes homosexuality.
In recent times, this means that, among other things, the ‘Sex and the City’ sequel ‘And Just Like That’ had its otherwise many and central scenes about one of the main characters’ new lesbian relationships removed.