Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling described the relationship between Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore and Johnny Depp’s Gellert Grindelwald as “intense,” and has subsequently faced a backlash for her comments.

According to Radio Times, Rowling discusses the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald Blu-ray DVD.

Rowling states:

“Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship. But as happens in any relationship, gay or straight or whatever label we want to put on it, one never knows really what the other person is feeling. You can’t know, you can believe you know.”

She then elaborates on their relationship and how there is a sexual dimensional, but she’s more interested in the emotional one:

“So I’m less interested in the sexual side – though I believe there is a sexual dimension to this relationship – than I am in the sense of the emotions they felt for each other, which ultimately is the most fascinating thing about all human relationships.”

Director David Yates would also add, “This is a story about two men who loved each other, and ultimately have to fight each other. It’s a story for the 21st century.”

Many LGBT fans of the Harry Potter and subsequently the Fantastic Beasts franchise were not happy with Rowling’s statements.

Rowling previously stated that Albus Dumbledore was gay following the release of her seventh Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Rowling revealed Dumbledore was gay and had a relationship with Gellert Grindelwald while speaking at Carnegie Hall in 2007. She described Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald as his “great tragedy” at the time. She would elaborate saying, “Falling in love can blind us to an extent” referring to how Grindelwald was interested in the dark arts.

Dumbledore’s sexuality has never been portrayed on screen. Actor Jude Law discussed the topic while promoting The Crimes of Grindelwald last July:

“I suppose the question is: How is Dumbledore’s sexuality depicted in this film? What you got to remember, this is only the second Fantastic Beasts film in a series. And what’s brilliant about Jo’s writing is how she reveals her characters, peels them to the heart over time. You’re just getting to know Albus in this film, and there’s obviously a lot more to come. We learn a little about his past in the beginning of this film, and characters and their relationships will unfold naturally which I’m excited to reveal. But we’re not going to reveal everything all at once.”

Rowling confirmed on Twitter in October of 2016 that there were five planned Fantastic Beasts movies. Only two have been made so far.

What do you make of this backlash against J.K. Rowling? Do you think it is warranted? Or do you think it is much ado about nothing?

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