'Fantastic Beasts' Continues China's Trend Of Censoring Gay Characters
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore spoilers: Dumbledore is gay. Or, if you wanna follow the phrasing format of classic Harry Potter franchise spoilers: ROWLING GAYS DUMBLEDORE.
Uh, how is that a spoiler, Cracked? Haven't we already known that for a long-ass time?
Yeah, since 2009, but now they finally put it in a movie. As in, Dumbledore finally goes on the record about falling in love with another dude.
Well, except in China. They were just close buddies there, apparently.
Because Warner Bros. agreed to remove the two lines of dialogue referencing Dumbledore's homosexuality there, at the request of the Chinese government. But don't worry! They claim that "the spirit of the film remains intact."
Isn't "the spirit of these films" something about defeating bigots who want to oppress those who happened to be born different?
So what's the Chinese government's problem with gay people, anyway?
Going from their TV guidelines issued in 2015, they think gay relationships are as "abnormal" as incest or rape, and depicting them in shows and movies counts as "exaggerating the dark side of society."
And telling millions of people who aren't hurting anyone that their sexuality is worthy of scorn is not part of the dark side of society?
What other supposedly vile stuff have they "protected" China's citizens from?
Well, the show Friends for one thing.
Okay, that I can see.
But it was specifically the scenes where Ross mentions that his ex-wife is a lesbian. They also censored a line of dialogue where Ross says women can have "multiple orgasms."
What? Is there a specific limit to how many orgasms a woman can have in China?
Not that we're aware of. Now Ross says they "have endless gossips," though, so there's no limit there.
Phew. How do Chinese viewers feel about all this censorship?
Based on the trending topics on the popular social media website Weibo, they were pretty pissed at first, but then those topics suddenly disappeared and were replaced with a hashtag about "why Friends is so popular," so the censorship must have grown on them.
That's a relief. Have they censored other movies like this?
Lots. There was the time they cut all references to Freddie Mercury's homosexuality in Bohemian Rhapsody, and movies like Call Me by Your Name and Brokeback Mountain have been banned altogether.
Isn't Brokeback Mountain's director Ang Lee from Taiwan?
Yep, China's state media called him "the pride of Chinese people all over the world" and "the glory of Chinese cinematic talent" when he won the Oscar for the same movie.
Huh. Hey, what if the Harry Potter franchise ever makes a movie where Dumbledore's sexuality isn't something that can be hidden by just cutting two lines of dialogue? Will China ban the entire movie too?
Not sure, but considering it took him over 20 years to say those two lines, we should find out sometime next century. We'll update this article then!
Top image: Warner Bros. Pictures