The Chinese government has cut six seconds from the latest Harry Potter film, removing references to a same-sex romance.
Warner Bros bowed to Chinese censors and removed specific references to a gay relationship in the latest Harry Potter film, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
The Chinese version of the film removed six seconds from the cut, including two lines of dialogue referencing a previous romantic relationship between two main characters, Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald, portrayed in the film by Jude Law and Mads Mikkelsen.
The lines in question were “because I was in love with you” and “Summer Gellert and I fell in love”. The rest of the film remained intact and it is understood that there is still a close relationship between the characters.
Warner Bros said in a statement to news.com.au: “As a studio, we are committed to protecting the integrity of every film we release, and this extends to circumstances that require making nuanced cuts in order to to respond sensitively to a variety of market factors.
“Our hope is to release our features globally as published by their creators, but historically we’ve faced small changes in local markets. In the case of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, a cut of six seconds was requested and Warner Bros accepted these changes to comply with local requirements, but the spirit of the film remains intact.
“We want audiences around the world to see and enjoy this film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences also have the opportunity to experience it, even with these minor edits.”
In 2007, Harry Potter author JK Rowling said Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, was gay and that he and Grindelwald had a romance when they were young.
Rowling made this statement after the publication of her latest Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallowsand Dumbledore was not explicitly gay in the books.
And while it was hinted in the first two fantastic beasts movies, it’s only Dumbledore’s secrets that the character’s sexuality was officially acknowledged on screen.
Same-sex relationships have been a hot topic for Chinese government censors, who rigidly monitor foreign films approved for release in the country.
Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody was chopped up by Chinese censors, omitting any reference to the Queen’s leader’s sexuality.
Even Rami Malek’s Oscar acceptance speech for playing Mercury was changed on Chinese TV when the subtitles changed “gay man” to “special band.”
Only 37 foreign films per year are allowed to be screened in Chinese cinemas. The Chinese box office is now the biggest money maker in the world, having overtaken North America during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The lucrative market has become important to Hollywood studios wanting access to China’s 1.44 billion consumers, often leading filmmakers to bow down to government censors in order to pass the test.
When will the trailer for the next Superior gun after maverick was released in 2019 (the film’s release was delayed for several years due to Covid cinema closures), fans spotted a detail on Tom Cruise’s character’s jacket.
A four-flag patch in the original 1986 film featured the Japanese and Taiwanese flags. In the sequel, these flags were replaced by different symbols.
The Chinese government does not recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty and considers the island to be its territory under the “One China” policy.
Some filmmakers refused to cut scenes to appease Chinese censors, including Quentin Tarantino, who didn’t want to edit his latest film, Once upon a time in Hollywood.