Depp’s central role in the marketing of the film is especially confounding given that the film’s screenwriter—and architect of the Harry Potter universe—J.K. Rowling, is often outspoken about issues of this nature and has in recent days retweeted several people discussing abuse by men against women. Last year, two months before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hit theaters, Rowling tweeted a video specifically about domestic violence:

A publicist for Rowling told Quartz that the author was not available for comment on the conversation surrounding Depp’s involvement. Rowling did not immediately respond to a message on Twitter.

It’s also puzzling that Warner Bros. was willing to stake its franchise on a star with such skeletons in his closet. Perhaps it’s because the allegations against him have already played out in various media cycles, or because Heard’s accusations were not sexual in nature, or because the former couple seemed to have ultimately settled things amicably. Regardless, one thing is clear: Depp’s career has not been damaged by the allegations of domestic brutality.

Still, Warner Bros. is taking a bit of a gamble in hoping the controversy around Depp doesn’t eventually explode. We live in an age where one comedian’s comments can bring a long-delayed reckoning to a beloved figure like Bill Cosby. Similarly, the ugly allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein had been out there for years before a New York Times exposé dragged them into the public eye and started a national conversation. Since then, powerful men from actor Kevin Spacey to Amazon Studios head Roy Price to comedian Louis C.K. have seen their Hollywood careers derailed by abuse allegations. If Depp’s involvement ends up hurting the film, studios could decide to avoid controversial figures altogether, no matter how big of a star they might be.

Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman defended the casting of Depp last year, calling the Edward Scissorhands and Pirates of the Caribbean actor “iconic.” Addressing the allegations of domestic abuse, Heyman told Entertainment Weekly, “Here’s the thing: Misogyny, abuse, maltreatment of people is unacceptable—but none of us know what happened in that room,” he said. “So I think it would be unfair for me to be judge and jury, or for any of us to be judge and jury.”

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