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‘Fantastic Beasts 3': Warner Bros. Defends Cutting 6 Seconds of Gay Dialogue for China Release

”The spirit of the film remains,“ a Warner Bros. spokesperson says in light of the edits

Warner Bros. trimmed roughly six seconds of dialogue from the China release of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” that point to Albus Dumbledore’s homosexuality, though the studio says that “the spirit of the film remains intact” despite the edits.

As first spotted by news.com.au, the Chinese theatrical release of the third “Fantastic Beasts” movie in the Wizarding World franchise omitted two lines of dialogue spoken by Dumbledore (Jude Law), including him saying, “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love.” “Harry Potter” author and the film’s writer J.K. Rowling had previously revealed that Dumbledore is gay, but the dialogue is the first time the character has explicitly addressed his sexuality on screen.

Warner Bros. accepted the changes as requested by Chinese censors, and in a statement the studio says that the rest of the film is the same, and it’s still understood that there’s a close relationship between both Dumbledore and the film’s antagonist, evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen).

“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 to TheWrap. “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.”

It continued: “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.”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” opened in China on April 8, one week ahead of its domestic debut, and according to data from Artisan Gateway, the film was the No. 1 movie at the Chinese box office, bringing in roughly $9.7 million, even as roughly 54% of cinemas are currently closed in the region. The film has also already made a collective $56.9 million across 22 international markets.