Depp appeared briefly at the end of the first Fantastic Beasts movie, which caused some dismay at the time. But now, in 2018, in the midst of the Me Too era, even more attention is being paid to the casting of an alleged domestic abuser in a $200 million children's movie. Perhaps the most outrage-y moment came during Comic-Con, when Heard, who was promoting Aquaman, had to appear on the same Warner Bros. panel as Depp -- who came out in character as Grindelwald, thus cementing his status as the Daniel Day-Lewis of goofy warlock villains.
Rowling defended the decision not to recast Grindelwald, stating: "Based on our understanding of the circ*mstances, the filmmakers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting, but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies." And Depp recently added, "J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused" -- seemingly suggesting that he showed Rowling some sort of exonerating evidence, presumably on a piece of an enchanted parchment that no one else is allowed to see.
Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, pointed out that this was kind of hypocritical. Back when they made Harry Potter movies that actually featured Harry Potter, the producers did fire someone for their offscreen actions. The bully Crabbe was written out of the final film after his actor was caught growing pot plants in his mom's house. As Radcliffe bluntly put it, "What Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that." Several Potterheads also took issue with Rowling's support of an alleged abuser when her books were literally about a kid escaping an abusive home. Hell, even Disney has reportedly dropped Depp from a planned Pirates Of The Caribbean reboot, and their theme parks are practically infested with animatronic Jack Sparrows.