Warner Bros. has bowed to Chinese authorities by removing gay dialogue from its blockbuster sequel Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore, with the studio justifying its act of artistic censorship by describing it as “nuanced cuts” and “minor edits.”
The Hollywood studio confirmed to multiple news outlets that it edited out about six seconds of dialogue alluding to the romantic past between Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen). The cuts won’t affect the U.S. release of the movie, which is set for this week.
“As a studio, we’re committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement sent to multiple outlets.
The studio said it agreed to censor the scene in order “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.”
China is allowing fewer Hollywood movies to play on local screens as the CCP seeks to boost the domestic entertainment industry. The CCP has also implemented a cultural plan to cultivate masculinity in Chinese boys by banning so-called “sissy men” in entertainment.
This isn’ the first time that Warner Bros. has agreed to censorship in order to appease China.
The studio allowed Chinese streamers to censor scenes in the HBO Max special Friends: The Reunion that featured Lady Gaga, due to the pop star’s public support for the Dalai Lama.
In 2020, Warner Bros. publicly expressed its support for the LGBTQ community.
“We are committing to tell more, authentic LGBTQ+ stories, nurture queer talent & harness our resources to advocate for equality,” the studio said.
We celebrate LGBTQ+ artists, employees & fans and are proud of our stories that represent the LGBTQ+ experience, but acknowledge we have more to do. We are committing to tell more, authentic LGBTQ+ stories, nurture queer talent & harness our resources to advocate for equality. pic.twitter.com/c4oG6NFg6d
— Warner Bros. (@warnerbros) June 24, 2020