Newt Wouldn’t Stand For It

Most of the pieces I do for this blog are pieces about my personal life, my writings, and things I’m generally fangirly about. But with this piece, I hope to go a bit deeper than the usual fare to deliver you some musings on a topic I feel really strongly about, which relates to a certain franchise about certain beasts that may or may not be fantastic.

With the news dropping recently about the title of the Fantastic Beasts sequel, fans have an exciting number of things to talk about. The first image of the cast was released, accompanied by a photo showing several beloved faces from the first film (#TeamNewtina & #TeamJacquennie), and introduces several new characters that so far, we’ve only speculated about. (DUMBLEDORE’S GOT ME SHOOK) Fan reactions are running the gamut from severely fangirling to feeling completely underwhelmed. We really went in on our feelings in the most recent episode of the podcast I co-produce, SpeakBeastyBut there is one reaction that just keeps popping up, and its one I happen to agree with…

It hasn’t even been a month since Kevin Spacey was dropped from Ridley Scott’s film (which comes out next month by the way) due to accusations from Anthony Rapp and many others. Harvey Weinstein’s company is in shambles following the ever-growing list of allegations against him. The #MeToo movement is still very fresh on everyone’s mind. So one has to wonder how in the hell a film written by J.K. Rowlinga woman who has always stood for justice and equalitycan possibly still be alright with featuring Depp in this role.

As the tweet above points out, the fact that the film itself is called The Crimes of Grindelwald and stars a known abuser just feels like some alternate universe joke that you didn’t think could be possible. Yet this is our reality. We’re exactly one year out from release, with the film still in production. But here we are, featuring this man’s character in the title of the film, and prominently in the promo poster. It is unreal, upsetting, and in my opinion, unacceptable.

Johnny Depp has starred in many films I’ve loved and enjoyed. He used to be one of my favorite actors. He has proven to be an incredibly talented and versatile actor. I can’t deny that. But how can I, and the entire WB team it seems, sit back and forget about the circumstances that surrounded his divorce with Amber Heard? Yes, she settled and withdrew her case, but she then used her settlement amount and donated it entirely (all $7 million of it) to charities supporting abused women and a children’s hospital. Some have argued she falsified these claims just for the money and to tear him down, but that argument goes out the window when you realize she didn’t keep a dime of the settlement, and his career is going just fine.

Domestic abuse is ignored, despite the unbelievable frequency with which it occurs. We cannot as a society condemn sexual assault as vehemently as we are right now while turning a blind eye to domestic violence. They are both plagues of our society. They both are inexcusable.

Harry Potter, and by extension, Fantastic Beasts, is a guiding light in the lives of so many people. It is a beacon in the darkness. It is a story we connect with and which has taught us to treat others with kindness, and that the weapon we have is love. For a franchise with such a beautiful foundation, it feels wrong to build upon it with a star who has shown himself to be antithetical to everything it stands for.

Jo shouldn’t stand for it. Harry and Newt certainly wouldn’t stand for it. So why should we?

So if Christopher Plummer can get to a studio and make reshoots happen for All the Money in the World mere weeks before it drops into theaters, there is no reason that Grindelwald’s sequences could not be reshot with a new actor before the film’s release. It would ease the pain of the many survivors of domestic abuse who are fans of the series, and frankly, I think it would send a bold statement to Hollywood and the world that just because you’re famous, you can’t get away with abusing someone.

And while Jo and others may joke that they don’t cast movies, as the film’s writer and producer, I believe she holds enough influence that she could make something like this happen. She has always used the power of her words to do what’s right. It is my hope that she uses that power to do the right thing once more and condemn this sort of violence.

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What I’m Going To Do

Current NaNoWriMo Word Count: 12,522 words

Current NaNoWriMo Mood (via a GIF):

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Kind of kicking myself for waiting till the 12th day of the month to update y’all on my NaNoWriMo progress, but the timing works I suppose since yesterday was the best writing day I’ve had in a long time, for a lot of different reasons.

For one, it was 11/11, which is my favorite day because my favorite number is 11. Good mojo from the jump on that front. Add that to the fact that we had an extended Write In with some of my friends from the PhillyWrimos group, and you have the recipie for a very good writing day.

And boy howdy was it.

Wrote just over 5,300 words yesterday, definitely my best writing day since the summer, and by a long shot my best one of the month so far. Not only was the quantity of words exciting to reach, but the content of those words was so wonderfully unexpected and important to the core of the story I’m trying to tell. Obviously the writing of it itself is probably swiftly written garbage that will need lots of revising, but the ideas are there. The framework has been laid down, and I feel as if yesterday’s writing is something truly thrilling that I will get to build upon later.

The month as a whole has gone pretty well, even though I did have a several day dry spell where I couldn’t get anything down. (Though to be fair, that was less about not being inspired to write and more about being too busy/tired to actually sit down and try any writing.) The month goes on though, and to be honest, it goes a little too quickly for my liking. I can’t believe we’re almost half way through it.

But even as time flies by, I have to say this experience so far this November has been like 90% blessed and 10% stressed, because there is a indescribable thrill that comes with first drafting for me. Its like the one Terry Pratchett quote, “The first draft is you telling yourself the story.” That has largely been how I’ve felt. Its like I’m an archaeologist of my own subconscious, digging around in there and uncovering characters and plot points and moments of meaning. My love for the exploratory nature of first drafts knows no bounds in this or any universe.

I know that the writing process is made of many hills and valleys, and so I don’t expect things with this draft to stay lovely forever. I know I’m going to go through times of writers block, plenty of low points, and if I haven’t tried to defenestrate the manuscript at least a half dozen times before its done, I’m doing something wrong. But every part of the process, both the good and the bad, is what makes me love it. For every murky moment of self doubt, there’s a time for clarity and confidence. When I one day hold the finished thing in my hands, it’ll be worth every second of it, because I didn’t give up on it, and I made a thing that didn’t exist in the universe before. Even in the darkest of times, the little spark of hope inside me holds onto that thought, and it is what keeps me writing. No matter how many times I think I’m going to quit, I just ask myself the one question that’s been my guiding light this year… WWWWD? (What Would Wonder Woman Do?)

Not give up, that’s for damn sure.

tenor

Back to the words. I’ll check in again soon.