There’s been quite the controversy surrounding the way film production studios have handled their international releases. As China remains a strong supporter of the international box office gross–even if recent numbers have been adding some questions regarding its profitability–studios have adapted their films for a release in the Middle Kingdom. Of course, they have very strict guidelines and only allow a certain amount of films into the country. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was among the lucky candidates, but it looks like it came at a cost.
Warner Bros. has cut the LGBTQ references in its film so that it can release the film in China. While supposedly they only cut six seconds of dialogue, which includes the lines “because I was in love with you” and “the summer Gellert and I fell in love.” Fantastic Beasts didn’t make a secret of the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald, but it seems the studio still decided to move forward with adopting the film for that release. Warner Bros. has released a statement on their decision:
As a studio, we’re committed to safeguarding the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate making nuanced cuts in order to respond sensitively to a variety of in-market factors. Our hope is to release our features worldwide as released by their creators but historically we have faced small edits made in local markets.
There have been many accusations of studios deliberately keeping LGBTQ references to a minimum so that they are easy to edit out for specific markets, which forbid it. Some films have stood by their productions, such as Marvel Studio’s sticking to its guns to not adapting their release of Eternals, which has an openly gay character, to stay true to the story and its director’s vision. Yet, Disney has also been in the spotlight for censoring or generally pushing back on LGBTQ elements planned for Pixar releases. In the case of Fantastic Beasts, Warner Bros. moved ahead with the adaptation but the film ended up opening at a lower box office in the market than its two predecessors.
Source: The Guardian