Warner Bros.: Please Stop Removing LGBTQ Content

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros. recently removed six seconds of LGBTQ content in Fantastic Beasts 3 in order to appease censors and release the film.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is just the latest film. Six seconds in a film that is 143-minutes long! Sure, they might be removing six seconds but it tells me that LGBTQ people are disposable in the studio’s eyes. You cannot tell me that you support LGBTQ rights in one statement while appeasing anti-LGBTQ censors behind our backs. Being an ally does not work this way and it just says that money is what matters at the end of the day. IT IS EXHAUSTING!

I’ve read the Warner Bros. statement and it is very disappointing. A brief excerpt: “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.” Bullshit! It just says that the LGBTQ content was never important even if it does establish character relationships. Again, the only thing that matters is how much money they make at the box office. No more, no less. If they really cared, they would stop doing business with Rowling.

There’s a recent rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation all across the United States. Imagine my disappointment to see a studio just treating us like pawns in their eyes. It needs to stop already–both the legislation and how disposable we are to to the studios in Hollywood. This is just as bad as Disney saying that they have “inspiring content” for LGBTQ fans. How is it inspiring when you can just cut a scene from a film to get a release date in countries with strict LGBTQ content and STILL keep the spirit of the film? To put it simply, it isn’t. It is not inspiring in any way to tell your LGBTQ fans that we do not matter. That’s the overall message that studios are sending us. The fact that this is going on as there is an all-out culture war makes what Warner Bros. is doing all the more frustrating.

I’m fully honest and transparent when I say that I do not read or watch the Harry Potter or Fantastic Beasts books or films. Never have, never will. This goes back to being forced to dress up against my will as Harry Potter during the film’s 2001 opening weekend at a movie theater. It forever turned me off of the franchise. But upon learning that author J.K. Rowling is a transphobic bigot, it appears that I made the right decision. People can talk about separating art from the artist or pretending that the books and films have no author. However, they’re only lying to themselves. These books have an author and said author is transphobic. Nothing changes the fact that this woman makes money off of her creation.

All of this is exhausting. Every time that I see Rowling trend on Twitter, my reaction is “What now?!?” As always, it’s always for another transphobic comment. Most recently, a photo is circulating of Rowling eating lunch with anti-trans lesbians. It just shows that no matter how she tries to spin it, she is a transphobic bigot. You cannot tell me you support trans rights and put money in her pocket. It is impossible to do so. You’re either with the bigots or support my rights–you cannot do both. I’m sorry but I do not make the rules here.

When you remove LGBTQ content from your film to get past the censors and still keep the spirit of the film, it says that the LGBTQ content was never important to begin with. Warner Bros. and other studios need to do better. Please consider sending a stronger message to LGBTQ fans at a time when our rights are being attacked in the US. DO BETTER!

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.