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The Film Strip: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ J.K. Rowling Weathers Storm of Racism

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*J.K. Rowling weathers the storm of racism and is back with another inclusive, astounding tale, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” set in the world of “Harry Potter” that sends a another message about bigotry.

Cast members Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, and Ezra Miller expressed their thoughts at the Four Seasons Hotel in NYC.

“My character, Newt,” Redmayne told me, “is a worrier. I’m the biggest worrier in the world and there’s a line in the film that goes,  ‘Worrying means you suffer twice.’” Fogler remembers Rowling being 20-feet tall the first time they met. He went on to say, “[Fantastic Beasts] is like a mirror to racism, to segregation.”

Sudol chimed in with …

“It shines a light on just how awful it is to segregate any people because we’re all just human beings. It’s a beautiful reminder, I guess, in this day and age where there’s a lot of fear of the other and a lot of division which is causing so much turmoil in our world.”

READ RELATED STORY: HARRY POTTER CREATOR RESPONDS TO RACISTS OVER BLACK WOMAN CAST AS HERMIONE

Waterston weighed in, saying …

“One of my favorite messages in the film is that there’s so much more to people than initially meets the eye.” Miller, once a victim of bullying and abuse, really related to his character, Credence. “There were moments in my life where I felt ostracized from my contemporaries, or from my peers. Those times were really painful.”

In the “Harry Potter” franchise, there have always been black characters, one of the first being Afred Enoch (2001—2011). He was recently killed off in “How to Get Away with Murder.”

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When Internet trolls went after Serena Williams, Rowling came to her defense. In “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) meets a black waitress and looking forward to a date after her shift, swallows some mints.

Racist fiends foamed at the mouth because Noma Dumezweni was cast as the adult Hermione in Rowling’s play, “Cursed Child,” at the West End in London. Rowling said, “Hermione can be a black woman with my absolute blessing and enthusiasm.”

In “Fantastic Beasts” Carmen Ejogo, who played Coretta Scott King in “Selma,” is the president of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), a title not to take lightly in the magical world of wizards.

Syndicated Entertainment journalist Marie Moore reports on film and TV from her New York City base. Contact her at [email protected]

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