J.K. Rowling has confirmed that some of the characters in the "Harry Potter" universe are gay. Some fans, however, are perturbed that these characters don't actually identify as gay in the books or movies.
In a special features interview for the "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" BluRay release, Rowling confirmed a relationship between characters Dumbledore and Grindelwald. "Their relationship was incredibly intense. It was passionate, and it was a love relationship," Rowling said. The Twitter account "The Rowling Library" transcribed this section of the interview.
"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," Rowling continued. "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 relationship."
Rowling previously revealed Dumbledore was gay andwho tweeted they couldn't "see" the headmaster of Hogwarts as homosexual. "Maybe because gay people just look like... people?" Rowling tweeted back.
On Twitter, Rowling has supported LGBTQ rights, and has said that Hogwarts is inclusive. Some fans, however, believe the author divulging these details after the fact is not productive. Many wish the characters actually identified as gay in the books and movies Rowling created, not just in her mind.
"The thing that bothers me most about Rowling going into the 'intense sexual relationship' of Dumbledore and Grindewald is that after being criticized for glossing over queer characters except in interviews, she reduced calls for real queer rep to 'give us kinky sex details!'" one fan tweeted.
"J.K. Rowling Confirms Some Characters in Her Books and Movies Are Gay Everywhere Except in the Books or the Movies," another Twitter user wrote.
One person suggested characters that Rowling should have "developed as queer" in the books. Another suggested what Rowling is doing is "performative activism."
"Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald" was released in November 2018. The BluRay version, which sparked this online debate, was released last week. There was negative press surrounding the film in 2017, when Johnny Depp was cast as Grindewald.
The author voiced her support for casting Depp following earlier domestic abuse allegations made against him, according to the Associated Press. Depp is now suing his ex-wife actress Amber Heard in a $50 million defamation lawsuit, citing a piece she wrote for The Washington Post about domestic abuse.
After her comments on the "Fantastic Beasts" BluRay sparked outrange, Rowling has not responded to the public on Twitter, which she uses often to address current events and political issues.