Depp’s high-profile split from Amber Heard, in which he was accused of violence, prompted film fans to demand he be removed from the magical films.
Producers – and then author JK Rowling – in turn spoke out to defend his involvement, saying Depp and Heard had released a statement saying they wanted to “get on with their lives”.
“Based on our understanding of the circumstances, the film-makers and I are not only comfortable sticking with our original casting but genuinely happy to have Johnny playing a major character in the movies,” Rowling added.
Heard later appeared to speak out on Twitter. saying: “To pick&choose certain lines & quote them out of context, is not right [sic].”
Radcliffe has now addressed the situation.
“It’s a very hard thing for me,” Radcliffe told Entertainment Weekly, acknowledging these same producers “gave me a great start in life and an amazing job.”
However he appeared to express discomfort, saying: “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 behaviour 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.”
Indeed, Jamie Waylett – who played Vincent Crabbe in the first six Harry Potter movies – was axed from the two Deathly Hallows blockbusters after being arrested for possession of marijuana. He faced formal criminal charges, which admittedly is something that has not happened to Depp.
As it stands, Depp plays Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, due out later this year.
He is joined by Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Zoe Kravitz and – as a young Dumbledore – Jude Law.