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China has censored references to same-sex romance in the latest Fantastic Beasts film, The Secrets of Dumbledore.
The country often has release dates later than the Western countries, but the immediate release of Fantastic Beasts has not come without some extra measure of control.
Warner Bros. confirmed cuts had been made from The Secrets of Dumbledore to allow the film to be released in China, specifically relating to lines of script which indicated a same-sex romance.
The lines concern lead characters Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), and include comments like 'because I was in love with you' and 'the summer Gellert and I fell in love'.
Though these specific lines have been removed for audiences in China, the rest of the film remains intact and continues to indicate a close relationship between the two characters.
In a statement to news.com.au, Warner Bros. explained it is 'committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film' it releases, adding that incudes 'circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors'.
“Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets. In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros accepted those changes to comply with local requirements but the spirit of the film remains intact.
“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 studio said.
Less than 40 foreign films a year are released in China, with filmmakers encouraged to comply to editing requests in order to allow their titles to make the cut.
Harry Potter author JK Rowling announced Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore was gay in 2007, though the character was not explicitly gay in the books. His sexuality was hinted at in the first two Fantastic Beasts films, the first of which was released in 2016, but it wasn't until the release of The Secrets of Dumbledore that it was acknowledged on screen.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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