Mads Mikkelsen explains why he won’t address J.K. Rowling controversy

fantastic beasts the secrets of dumbledore
Image via Warner Bros.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling continues to fan the flames of the controversy around her opinions on trans people, leading to many folks calling for a boycott of the Wizarding World, including the latest Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore movie and even the upcoming role-playing video game, Hogwarts Legacy.

Amid all of this backlash, franchise newcomer Mads Mikkelsen has retained his silence, and he has a reason why. In an interview with GQ, Mikkelsen addressed taking over from Johnny Depp as Grindelwald for the Fantastic Beasts threequel and also explained why he tries to avoid the subject.

People treat it a little flippantly, like, ‘Isn’t that a disgrace?’ And every time you ask somebody, you can’t really figure out what she said. But if the reaction is that crazy, we have to be very careful that we know what we’re talking about. I have a habit of not commenting on things that I don’t know anything about, and I actually think that that would suit the entire world.

Many would argue, of course, that Rowling has an extensive history of commenting on these sensitive matters, and her opinions aren’t exactly shrouded in ambiguity. Still, Mikkelsen isn’t defending the author, per se, further explaining his perspective by adding:

I don’t know what the solution is. No hateful rhetoric towards either women or trans [people] — that’s a good start. But we have to be honest — and it seems to me when you turn science into ideology, and politics into science, then you’re not talking from an honest place. And I think that’s muddying the waters regarding what side you’re on, and rarely leads to anywhere good.

Mikkelsen took over from Johnny Depp after Warner Bros. fired the latter in the wake of abuse claims made in his court feud with former wife Amber Heard. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, will mark his first appearance as the big bad of the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise, and will be opening in theaters on April 15.