Schwuler Moment in «Phantastische Tierwesen 3» zensiert So nimmt Studio Warner nun Stellung

2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved / Jaap Buitendijk

China has become the second most important market in the world for large American film studios and the cinema box office there sometimes determines the success or failure of a blockbuster. As a result , Hollywood has become dependent on the Chinese dictatorship and its morality and has to comply with any censorship requirements in order for a film to be allowed to start at all. That’s what happened with «Fantastic Beasts 3: Secrets of Dumbledore,» which opened in China on April 8, 2022 — albeit cut by six seconds, as News.com.au reports.

These sentences were censored in «Beasts 3».

Six seconds sounds like little. But it’s about the sentences in which the former gay love between the magician Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and the black magician Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is explicitly addressed, in the original they are: » Because I was in love with you ” and » the summer Gellert and I fell in love «.

In an ideal world, addressing a queer relationship would not be worth mentioning anyway, just normal, but in the Hollywood reality of blockbuster cinema in 2022 it is still a peculiarity — and in the eyes of the Chinese government so wrong that Warner was assigned to remove the sentences. The film studio complied with this requirement.

This is how Warner is reacting now

In an official statement to news.com.au , Warner called the censorship «minor» — a statement questionable given the meaning of the phrases in the portrayed cultural context. Here is the translated statement in its entirety:

«As a studio, we are committed to protecting the integrity of every film we release, and that extends to circumstances that necessitate nuanced editing to be sensitive to a variety of market factors. We always hope to release our films worldwide in the way their creators intended, but we’ve had to make small cuts in local markets on a number of occasions.

In the case of ‘Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore’, a six-second cut was requested and Warner Bros. accepted these changes to accommodate local needs, but the spirit of the film remains intact. We want audiences around the world to be able to see and enjoy the film, and it’s important to us that Chinese audiences have the same opportunity, even with these minor cuts.»

So far no commercial success in China

China is not the only country for which Hollywood censors its films. Disney, for example, had the brief kiss between two pilots at the end of » Star Wars 9 » removed for release in the United Arab Emirates, where any kind of intimacy should not be shown in films (since the scene is very short, not relevant to has the plot and affects two supporting characters, this was possible without any effort and the suspicion arises that this queer love moment was designed as dispensable from the start).

But, as stated at the beginning, China is the most important market outside of the USA for many Hollywood films. It is all the more bitter that «Animals 3» only made a weak ten million US dollars in its first three days in China, since curfews are in place due to current corona measures and more than half of the cinemas are closed. Censorship for Warner doesn’t even seem to have paid off commercially so far.


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