Many fans were perplexed by a noticeable absence in the latest teaser for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. After starring in the first two films, Katherine Waterston’s character Tina Goldstein was nowhere to be seen. Some are now asking if Waterston’s part was decreased as a result of her public opposition to J.K. Rowling’s views on trans rights. It’s unusual for a large franchise to remove the main character without explanation. Tina was a supporting character in the first two Fantastic Beasts films, playing an American witch who follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) on his adventures and eventually becomes his wife.
Waterston is still included on the cast roster for The Secrets of Dumbledore, but her part appears to be significantly reduced. She isn’t even on the posters, despite the fact that Warner Bros. issued a bunch of them for minor characters in this film. According to the storyline summary, The Secrets of Dumbledore prioritizes Newt, Dumbledore (Jude Law), and Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen), with Jessica Williams filling in for Katherine Waterston in instances where Tina should have been in the teaser. Williams reprises her role as Professor Eulalie Hicks, who appeared in the previous film for a brief appearance.
Meanwhile, Waterston has remained silent about her involvement with the business. She hasn’t been involved in any scandals that could lead to her being dismissed, unlike Johnny Depp (who previously portrayed Grindelwald). Damien Chazelle’s Babylon is another big film she has coming out this year. One thing we do know is that she publicly disagreed with J.K. Rowling’s stance on trans rights, and many fans assumed this was the reason for her disappearance.
In June 2020, J.K. Rowling’s anti-trans beliefs sparked a significant uproar when she published an essay that had several unmistakable transphobic dog whistles. She’d previously received backlash for a series of provocative and worrisome tweets, but her essay made Hollywood sit up and take note. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and (most importantly) Eddie Redmayne, all of whom played Harry Potter, issued remarks in favor of transgender rights. The Secrets of Dumbledore was set to begin filming at this point but had been postponed owing to COVID-19.
To put it another way, Waterston’s absence from Fantastic Beasts is most likely unrelated. Maybe Tina Goldstein has nothing to do with the story Rowling sought to tell in Dumbledore’s Secrets. Perhaps there was another conflict going on behind the scenes. Or it’s possible that Waterston, who prefers indie dramas, simply doesn’t want to create any more Fantastic Beasts films. Although it’s unusual for actresses to leave a blockbuster franchise, it’s likely that Waterston’s decreased role was her own choice.