Ever since Rowling first revealed that Dumbledore was gay back in 2007 and alluded to his young romance with Gellert Grindelwald, many fans have wanted to see that relationship fleshed out in further detail, while that part of Dumbledore's life was filled in.
With Grindelwald now played by Johnny Depp and Dumbledore to be played by Jude Law, those expectations were nevertheless crushed earlier this week when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald director David Yates said that Dumbledore would not be "explicitly gay" in the film.
With a full-on backlash now in progress, and much of it apparently directed at Rowling herself, who wrote the screenplay for the first Fantastic Beasts and the one in question, the writer took to Twitter to make her stand. (Though she doesn't mention the film by name, the timing and nature of the tweet clearly show she's addressing the controversy.)
"Being sent abuse about an interview that didn’t involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that’s only one installment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what’s even *more* fun?”
The post was accompanied by a gif in which a young man hits the "Mute" button on a remote pointed at the viewer, presumably symbolizing Rowling's decision to either ignore or delete all the abusive tweets in her feed:
On one hand, Rowling's anger is understandable: Until anyone sees The Crimes of Grindelwald they really can't critique what is or isn't in the film. There might be hints about Dumbledore's sexuality in the story, even if they're not explicit or direct, and there may also be solid narrative reasons to avoid exploring the Dumbledore-Grindelwald relationship at this juncture, as well.
On the other hand, what's the big deal about just getting it out there that the Hogwarts headmaster-to-be is gay and fully acknowledging that aspect of his character, even if his love life is not yet developed?
One reason could be money (isn't that always the reason for everything?). As Forbes points out, films featuring openly gay characters and themes are not very welcome in countries like Russia and China, huge markets where strong box office is essential to any large-scale movie's bottom line. Whether that's a factor or not is obviously speculative, though.