CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses domestic violence.

I swear to god, I’ve loved Harry Potter since the age of ten, but this franchise is *this* fucking close to being dead to me.

The fandom has been tested ever since the Fantastic Beasts sequels continued to cast Johnny Depp despite allegations of domestic violence. Things heated up again after his character, Gellert Grindelwald, was name-checked in the title of the second film.

Now Fantastic Beasts director David Yates has come in to defend his star antagonist, managing to tie it in with the recent spate of accusations against long-standing Hollywood power players like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Brett Ratner.

He told Entertainment Weekly:

“Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening. With Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something. I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

He’s essentially saying, “I’ve never seen Johnny Depp be abusive, therefore I don’t believe it, therefore Heard is lying”, just not in so many words. And why on earth did he think “took a pop at him” was a wise choice of words to use when describing allegations of domestic violence?

Yates later implied that since Depp doesn’t have multiple women coming forward with allegations, this is “a dead issue”, no longer worthy of our time or attention.

“By testament, some of the women in [Depp’s] life have said the same thing — ‘that’s not the human being we know.’ It’s very different [than cases] where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis. It’s a dead issue.”

Because this is an issue people get particularly fired up about, let’s just go over the facts again: Amber Heard filed for divorce from Johnny Depp, and later filed a domestic violence restraining order against him. She provided photos, videos and text messages as evidence. Depp’s business managers filed court documents alleging that they witnessed his violence against Heard. The couple settled their divorce out of court, issuing a joint statement that “our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm.” Heard dropped the charge, and donated her entire $US7 million divorce settlement to the American Civil Liberties Union – specifically to prevent violence against women – and the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Not one part of that ‘proves’ that Depp didn’t domestically abuse his wife. Yet here he is, still being cast in movie roles and heading in to one of the biggest franchises of the decade.

Here’s everything you need to know about the crimes of Grindelwald:

If you would like to access support or counselling around issues of domestic violence, please call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Image: Warner Bros.