It was only a matter of time until the wider Potterverse was brought into the quagmire of controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s major presence in the cast of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. But the first weighing-in from the old Potter crew has come from none other than the former Harry Potter himself.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the fallout from J.K. Rowling’ statement about the allegations of abuse surrounding Depp’s divorce from Amber Heard last year, Radcliffe diplomatically addressed the thorny issue:
I can see why people are frustrated with the response that they were given from that … I’m not saying anything that anybody hasn’t already said — and this is a weird analogy to draw — [but] in the NFL, there are lots of players arrested for smoking weed and there is other people’s behavior that goes way beyond that and it’s tolerated because they’re very famous players. I suppose the thing I was struck by was, we did have a guy who was reprimanded for weed on the [original Potter] film, essentially, so obviously what Johnny has been accused of is much greater than that.
Radcliffe is referring to Jamie Waylett, who played Slytherin bully Victor Crabbe in the film series until he was removed from both Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows films after being arrested for marijuana possession in 2009. Although very different scenarios—Waylett was officially arrested and sentenced for his crime, whereas the situation regarding Depp is shrouded in allegations—it’s not hard to see what Radcliffe is trying to say about the situation. Whether or not more of his former Potter co-stars join him on speaking out about the controversy remains to be seen.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is due to hit theaters November 16.