Ian McKellen Slams Fantastic Beasts 2 For Avoiding Dumbledore’s Sexuality
Though he might’ve passed on playing Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series back in the day, Lord of the Rings star Ian McKellen stills has strong opinions about where the movies take the Hogwarts professor. Much controversy has been generated by the news that Jude Law’s younger Dumbledore in Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald won’t address the character’s sexuality, and that’s something that disappoints McKellen.
While speaking to Time Out, the actor was informed that Law’s Dumbledore won’t be explicitly gay in Fantastic Beasts 2, as per J.K. Rowling’s established information on the iconic wizard. McKellen reacted with regret at the news and went on to a give a scathing, though hilarious, speech about how Hollywood’s ineffectual at displaying the diversity of the real world, as there’s traditionally been a serious lack of minority groups in key roles.
“Isn’t he? That’s a pity. Well, nobody looks to Hollywood for social commentary, do they? They only recently discovered that there were black people in the world. Hollywood has mistreated women in every possible way throughout its history. Gay men don’t exist – [1998 movie] Gods and Monsters, I think, was the beginning of Hollywood admitting that there were gay people knocking around, even though half of Hollywood is gay.”
McKellen’s comments here single out a couple of movies that did break the mold. 1998’s Gods and Monsters starred the actor himself as classic Hollywood director James Whale and explored his private life as a gay man. He also alludes to Marvel’s Black Panther in his joke about tinseltown only just realizing that black people exist. It’s worth pointing out that both of these films were very well reviewed, too, as opposed to the backlash online that Fantastic Beasts 2 has received.
Given this and the – as McKellen points out – general push towards increased diversity in Hollywood, though, maybe things will be rectified in future sequels beyond Fantastic Beasts and the Crimes of Grindelwald, as Jude Law is expected to remain on board for the many more films that Rowling has in the works. Otherwise, they’ll soon have the scorn of another iconic wizard to deal with.