'Fantastic Beasts' director David Yates defends casting of Johnny Depp amid backlash

At a time in Hollywood when many men have lost projects in the wake of harassment allegations, Johnny Depp remains a star of the Fantastic Beasts sequel.

Director David Yates stands by that decision.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published Tuesday, Yates spoke from the London shoot of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald about why he thinks Depp should keep playing villain Gellert Grindelwald, despite the actor's ex-wife's allegations of physical abuse.

“Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, (but) with Johnny, it seems to me there was one person who took a pop at him and claimed something," Yates told EW, referring to Depp's ex Amber Heard. "I can only tell you about the man I see every day: He’s full of decency and kindness, and that’s all I see. Whatever accusation was out there doesn't’t tally with the kind of human being I’ve been working with.”

Yates differentiated Heard's accusations against Depp from those made about men including Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

"It’s very different (than cases) where there are multiple accusers over many years that need to be examined and we need to reflect on our industry that allows that to roll on year in and year out. Johnny isn’t in that category in any shape or form. So to me, it doesn’t bear any more analysis," he said. "It's a dead issue."

Heard separated from Depp in May 2016, when the actress alleged domestic abuse, revealed a recent bruise on her cheek and filed for a restraining order against Depp.

The couple released this joint statement in three months later: "Our relationship was intensely passionate and at times volatile, but always bound by love. Neither party has made false accusations for financial gain. There was never any intent of physical or emotional harm. Amber wishes the best for Johnny in the future. Amber will be donating financial proceeds from the divorce to a charity."

Depp made a cameo in last November's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Beasts sequel, which will feature Depp in a more prominent role, is slated for release on Nov. 16, 2018.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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